Lib Dem sources said their party has won the by-election by at least 1,000 votes. The official result is expected to be announced shortly before 4am.
“If I’d said six months ago that we were going to win this by-election everyone would have laughed, and rightly so”, one stunned insider said.
Lib Dem MP Christine Jardin, who is at the count in Crediton, said her party will now be targeting the Prime Minister and deputy PM’s seats at the next election.
She told the Telegraph: “This is huge. This is the biggest majority overturned since 1935 in a by-election and that should send a message to the government.
“If I were a Conservative MP at the moment, I am astonished that they haven’t acted already, that they don’t see the writing on the wall.
“If they can lose seats which they regard as safe as this one, then both the Prime Minister and Dominic Raab, their majorities are far less than you’ve got here. They should be thinking about that.”