THE Liberal Democrats have won the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election from the Tories.

They won the mid-Wales constituency, which covers Hay-on-Wye, Presteigne and Knighton, by a margin of 1,425, swinging the vote nearly 12 per cent from the Tories.

Boris Johnson's first major challenge as Tory leader became his first major defeat with the announcement of Jane Dodds' victory in the early hours of today.

The Tory loss will add to the PM's challenges to steer Brexit through Parliament and may increase the chances of a snap general election –the new Prime Minister has been left with a working majority of just one.

With the vote coming eight days after Mr Johnson was anointed, it is the quickest by-election defeat for any PM of the post-war period.

Welsh Lib Dems leader Ms Dodds immediately challenged Mr Johnson to rule out a no-deal Brexit as she celebrated her victory.

People are desperately crying out for a different kind of politics. There is no time for tribalism when our country is faced with a Boris Johnson Government and the threat of a no-deal Brexit," she said.

"So my very first act as your MP when I arrive in Westminster will be to find Mr Boris Johnson wherever he is hiding and tell him loud and clear: 'Stop playing with the future of our communities and rule out a no-deal Brexit now'."

She pushed into second place the Conservative candidate Chris Davies, who was the constituency's MP until he was ousted in a recall petition after he admitted submitting false invoices for expenses.

Despite 19 per cen of the electorate petitioning for his recall, the Tories selected Mr Davies to fight to reclaim the seat.

The Lib Dems secured 43 per cent of the vote, the Tories 39 per cent and the Brexit Party 10 per cent.

Fourth-placed Labour narrowly avoided losing its deposit by securing just over 5 per cent of the share.

Mr Davies' recall came after he pleaded guilty in March to submitting two false expenses invoices for nine photographs costing £700 to decorate his new office.

He was fined £1,500, ordered to pay £2,500 towards legal costs and told to carry out 50 hours of community service.

In his losing speech, Mr Davies thanked his team and family "who have had a difficult time over the last few months".