Long-standing Tory Clacton MP Giles Watling lost his seat after seven years serving the constituency to Reform UK's Nigel Farage. 

Mr Watling received 12,820 votes, trailing well behind the Reform UK leader's 21,255 votes.

Mr Watling said: "You know, it was expected. I was dealing with a method of campaigning that I couldn't compete with - I think it's called swarm campaigning.

"This is where you get a lot of people in once space and you make people see that, oh look, everybody is going in this direction.

"So it's natural human nature to think that everybody is going in that direction, then I must follow. 

"I did not have those resources and I could not do that.

"I've just been knocking on doors and talking to people and I've had really great reactions when I've spoken to people on the doorstep.

"One does one's best and one moves on."

Despite the Reform gain from the Conservatives, Mr Watling believes his party has a chance of winning the next General Election.

He said: "I think there is every chance in the next General Election.

"One of the things about being in power for as long as we have been is that things begin to fragment, and one of the reasons we lost here and in other areas is that dissatisfaction with what we've been doing at the top of the party.

"I think this is going to now really pull us together as a party and make us think long and hard about how we can become cohesive again.

"After all, we are the most successful political party in global history, democratically."

Mr Watling says he is retiring from politics to focus on other things in his life.

He said: "I will be retiring from politics but not necessarily from life - there is so much to be doing.

"Who knows? I come from showbiz. I might go back to showbiz, but for the time being I think I'm just going to take it easy, do a bit of gardening and get to know my wife properly again."