Page last updated at 12:09 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 13:09 UK

Liberal Democrat Lembit Opik loses Montgomeryshire

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Liberal Democrat MP for Montgomeryshire has lost his seat to Conservative Glyn Davies

Lembit Opik, one of the most colourful characters in UK politics, has lost his seat in the Commons.

The Liberal Democrat was beaten by the Conservatives in the mid Wales constituency of Montgomeryshire.

Mr Opik, a chat show regular who became well known for dating one of the Cheeky Girls singers, was defeated by former Welsh Assembly Member Glyn Davies.

In an emotional speech after the announcement, he said it was "personally very disappointing".

Speaking to BBC Wales after his defeat, said he left the seat with a spiritual faith which he had recently developed.

In the words of Arnie Schwarzenegger, 'I'll be back'
Lembit Opik

"I leave this job with a faith - a very strong spiritual faith which I have developed quite recently and thanks to many people in the constituency - but also a faith in people and human nature, and finally a faith in the liberalism which got me into politics in the first place, which I have sought to represent as best I can in this constituency and which continues unabated as the strong, deep liberal strain which characterises Montgomeryshire."

"I cannot really analyse it just after the announcement, but I have been surprised," he added

Mr Opik, who had been an MP since 1997, said: "Credit to my opponent - he won fair and square. If you stand in elections you have to be willing to accept defeat as well as victory and this was my time.

"Perhaps it was my brand of politics which people weren't to keen on. Perhaps it was a big surge to the Conservatives."

Gabriela Irimia with Lembit Opik in 2007
Politics is showbiz, and at least they had an MP everybody in the country knew!
Ex-girlfriend, Cheeky Girl Gabriela Irimia

Asked whether he thought his high profile in the media had been a factor in the result, he said: "If the whole thing was a referendum on me, well, we will work that out."

He said he was "really sad" to be leaving parliament.

Mr Opik, aged 45, dated the Cheeky Girl Gabriela Irimia, and before her the ITV weather presenter Sian Lloyd. He was also a regular guest on shows such as Have I Got News For You.

Asked if he could envisage a further role in politics in the future, he said it was "above my pay grade" to be giving Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg suggestions but added that he was open to offers.

He added: "In the words of Arnie Schwarzenegger, 'I'll be back'."

Mr Opik also thanked people in his constituency who he said had a faith in human nature and also a faith in the principles of liberalism.

'Something of a shock'

The ex-MP thanked them for their patience "at those times when I have been difficult to deal with".

Meanwhile, former girlfriend Irimia expressed her sadness he had lost his seat, saying the job "was his life".

"The voters have lost a dedicated man who cared for his constituency and the people in it," she said.

"So, he is showman, that's great. I'm in showbiz, politics is showbiz, and at least they had an MP everybody in the country knew!"

His successor Glyn Davies told BBC Wales: "It's something of a shock, really. But it's a great result for me, and a great result for the team that's been working for me, and we are pretty thrilled about it."



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