The Liberal Democrats have issued a warning to Tories in Winchester after securing a historic double by-election victory.

This comes after Conservatives lost their former stronghold of Tiverton and Honiton to the Lib Dems, surrendering a majority of more than 24,000 on Thursday night.

Richard Foord won the Devon seat with more than 22,000 votes after the constituency saw a swing of almost 30 per cent.

Elsewhere, Labour also took control of Wakefield from the Tories in what proved to be another notable indication of public mistrust in the current administration.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged that the results are “tough” but vowed to “keep going” – despite the losses dealing another blow to his authority.

Meanwhile, Conservative Party co-chairman Oliver Dowden quit, saying he and Tory supporters are “distressed and disappointed by recent events”, telling Mr Johnson: “Someone must take responsibility.”

Reacting to the victory, Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Winchester and Chandler's Ford, Danny Chambers, said: "The Liberal Democrats have made political history. We have upturned one of the safest Tory seats in the whole country. If voters are frustrated and angry enough with this government to over turn a 24,000 majority in Devon, the Lib Dems have every chance of winning in Winchester and other places in Hampshire.”

Mr Chambers added: “This by-election result sends a loud and clear message: it’s time for Boris Johnson to go, and go now. This is also a message to the government that they have got to do more to tackle the cost of living crisis. People are really feeling the pinch right now and we need someone sensible leading us through this difficult time, not Boris Johnson.

“We need a government that focuses on reducing energy bills by helping people insulate their home and move to renewable forms of energy. We need a government that protects British businesses and farmers which are struggling to trade with our closest allies and neighbours in Europe. We also need a government that cuts backlogs in our NHS and sorts out ambulance waiting times. People want change, and they want a credible government.”

Tory MPs are now expressing their concerns about being able to retain Conservative seats.

Tory grandee Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said there is “no doubt” it would be “difficult to hold” his seat if there were a by-election in his constituency now.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the MP for the Cotswolds and treasurer of the 1922 committee said: “I think, factually, if I were to run under a bus today it would be difficult to hold my seat. There’s no doubt about that.

“I feel very sorry for all our volunteers, and indeed my colleagues, and indeed myself, who work very hard in these by-elections, but were simply defeated by the situation that we find ourselves in at the moment.”

Conservative MP Jesse Norman, who wrote to Mr Johnson earlier in June to say he was withdrawing his support due to the partygate scandal and his government’s lack of “a sense of mission”, reiterated his concerns over their impact on the electorate.

Mr Norman tweeted a quote from that letter on Friday morning, writing: “For you to prolong this charade not only insults the electorate, and the people who support, volunteer, represent and campaign for our party; it makes a decisive change of government at the next election much more likely. That is potentially catastrophic for this country.”

Veteran Tory MP Sir Roger Gale said the Prime Minister has “trashed” the reputation of the Conservative Party.

He said Mr Johnson is choosing to “hang on to the door handle at No 10” but “it can’t go on forever, and it certainly won’t go on until the next general election”.

Asked if he sees Mr Dowden’s resignation as a trigger for more expressions of discontent from the Cabinet, he told BBC Breakfast: “It is possible that that may happen, but it is up to my colleagues in the Cabinet to decide whether they can go on supporting a prime minister who, frankly, has trashed the reputation of the Conservative Party, my party, for honesty, for decency, for integrity and for compassion.”

Steve Brine MP has been approached for comment.