John Prescott has failed in his bid to become Humberside police and crime commissioner, ceding the vote to Conservative candidate Matthew Grove.
The former deputy prime minister lost to a man who has only been Humberside councillor for five years in what is traditionally Labour heartlands and despite being joined on his campaign by Tony Blair.
He stood behind the Tory councillor wearing a thunderous expression as businessman Grove made his victory speech and handed Mr Grove a pretend sheriff's badge as he congratulated his rival.
Grove described Prescott as an "utter gentleman" and said he was almost sad to have beaten him.
When it came to his turn to speak, Prescott said he had at least reduced a 30,000 Tory majority to a 2,000 majority but added "I'm not going to be churlish. The people have spoken."
He said: "I said at the beginning, this a Tory marginal seat. It's not a safe Labour seat. It's not even a Labour seat."
However he said he would not be running again, "but this was one occasion where you were required to have lived in the actual constituency, I was one of the constituency, I always wanted to make service so I put my name forward and you have the results today.
"I got nearly got it, didn't I?
"It would have been nice but it wasn't so."
In his speech to the hall, Grove praised Prescott as a "worthy opponent" saying the former Deputy PM had behaved as an "utter gentleman" throughout.
He said again he did not agree with the establishment of PCCs and said he was concerned about the turnout figures.
Mr Grove told the hall: "The real work begins now. I have to make sure that not only do I make the people of this area as safe as they can be.
"I fight to drive down crime but I do so without taking any more money out of (the electorate's) pocket than they can afford."
The Humberside PCC will receive a salary of £70,000.
The former deputy prime minister led after the first round of votes in the Humberside race. But after second preference votes were totted up in The Spa, Bridlington, the 74-year-old was overtaken by 2000 votes to Tory local businessman and councillor Grove.
Lord Prescott laughed when someone reminded him it was the first time he had personally lost an election race.
He said: "I've always been winning but I knew when I started it was a marginal seat.
"But it's nothing to be defeated in a democracy, is it?"
He said: "I've done what I have to do. I've put Labour's case, I think I've put it effectively, and I've missed it by a couple of cents."
He laughed again when reporters asked if his wife, Pauline, wanted him to retire.
Talking to Sky News following the result, Grove said it was clear who Humberside didn't want as their PCC.