UKIP’S Douglas Carswell will remain as Clacton’s MP despite having his majority slashed by his Tory rival.

Mr Carswell made political history by becoming Ukip’s first elected MP in October after he ditched the Conservatives and resigned his seat, triggering a by-election that he won with a massive 12,404-vote majority.

But his majority over Conservative candidate Giles Watling has been cut to 3,437 votes.

The result comes as the Conservatives were expected to have a slim majority nationally and will remain in Government. Mr Carswell was expected to be the sole Ukip MP.

Mr Carswell polled 19,642 votes to Mr Watling's 16,205 votes.

Labour's Tim Young gained 6,364 votes, with the Green Party’s Chris Southall gaining 1,184 and Lib Dem David Grace polling just 812.

Following the result, Mr Carswell repeated his mantra that the people of Clacton were his “boss”.

He said he was “absolutely thrilled”, yet “humbled” to be returned to Parliament.

“Too much of our politics is arranged for the convenience of the established politicians," he said.

“So much of Britain is better than ever before – we live longer healthier lives – we are more prosperous than ever before from online shipping to iPlayer, we have much more choice.

“So much about the country is so much better except when it comes to how we do politics.”

He added that change is needed to the electoral system to ensure people are properly represented.

The Conservatives hailed the result as a success following their dismal result in the by-election.

Speaking after the result was declared, Mr Watling said: "What a ride."

He added: "It was brilliant - it was a mountain to climb. I have been campaigning since September and it’s been enormous fun.

“I regard this as a huge success – there is more to do. Of course I'm disappointed I'm not the MP. You can’t tell what is going to happen in the future.”

Mr Young said he hoped Mr Carswell would look after his hometown and said he agreed with Mr Carswell over the need for electoral reform.

“It has not been a great night for the Labour Party, but we will dust ourselves down and come back in solidarity and comradeship.”

Green candidate Chris Southall said he was pleased to beat the Lib Dems, but wished that climate change and austerity had featured more during the election debate.

"We have nearly doubled our vote again from the by-election,” he said.

“Although we didn't save our deposit we were in front of the Lib Dems which was nice.”

It was another disappointing night for the Liberal Democrats who saw their share of the vote collapse from almost 5,577 in 2010 to just 483 in October.

Lib Dem candidate David Grace only managed to increase his vote to 812. Mr Grace was not at the election count, telling the Gazette he felt unwell.

He said: “I’m pleased that I was able to increase the vote. It was somewhat predictable, I’m more disappointed by the national result.

“I fear that whatever the question, the nationalism that Ukip represents is not the answer.”  

2015 Clacton General Election result:

Douglas Carswell (UKIP) 19,642 (44.4%)
Giles Watling (Con) 16,205 (36.7%)
Tim Young (Lab) 6,364 (14.4%)
Chris Southall (Green) 1,184 (2.7%)
David Grace (Lib Dem) 812 (1.8%)

Majority: 3,437 (7.8%)
Turnout: 44,383 (64.4%)
UKIP hold