TIM Farron said he was 'properly humbled' by his large mandate to continue as the Liberal Democrat Westmorland and Lonsdale MP in this year's election. 

June 4 marked a seismic shift in politics - on both a national and a Cumbrian scale - as Labour claimed a landslide victory and many Conservatives lost their seats. For the first time since 2015, Mr Farron's party returned to being the third largest in the Commons after winning 71 seats under Sir Ed Davey. 

Mr Farron won 31,061 votes in the constituency, over triple the number of ballots cast for second placed Conservative Matty Jackman. Mr Farron received 62.7 per cent of the vote share, which is 22 per cent higher than in 2019. 

It is a much different story than the 2017 election, where Mr Farron only beat Conservative James Airey by 777 votes.

Based on the 2019 results, if the constituency boundaries had been what they are now, Mr Farron would not have won. The BBC therefore classed the result as a Liberal Democrat gain.

"I am properly humbled," Mr Farron said. "There's no right to be our MP. To win and win by that amount is humbling. It is a total privilege to serve Westmorland." 

Mr Farron said that he thought his party did a good job of representing rural communities, giving some indication of how the Liberal Democrats will approach holding a Labour government to account, which he says generally has power in urban centres. 

Despite his win, Mr Farron will ultimately sit on the opposition benches once again - with the only period in his nearly two decade long stint as an MP on the side in power being the coalition era between 2010 and 2015.

To this, he said: "I would say it's as possible to get things done for your community on the opposition benches. I think it's demonstrable from the things we have achieved over the years. 

"99 per cent of things don't happen on the floor of the House of Commons. It's working together like bringing back post offices in Shap, reopening the maternity unit in Kendal, use the influence we have got - campaign and achieve things." 

Mr Farron was also quizzed on the principle of electoral reform, which he has been a long standing proponent of. The Liberal Democrats received less of the total votes than Reform despite winning more seats - meaning in a proportional system his party would have to concede ground to Nigel Farage. 

He said: "The reason I support proportional representation - I think people matter. The people I disagree with their views matter as much as I do. I don't support representation because it gives the outcome I want - I support it because it gives people votes that count."