In a dramatic turnaround, Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina Republican presidential primary on Saturday.

The former House of Representative speaker was in the fourth position in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Gingrich has bagged 40 percent of the votes whereas opponent and front runner Mitt Romney got 27 percent of votes, according to reports . Rick Santorum and Ron Paul are in the third and fourth positions respectively.

"It is very humbling and very sobering to have so many people who so deeply want their country to get back on the right track -- so many people who are so concerned about jobs, about medical costs, about the everyday parts of life, and who feel that the elites in Washington and New York have no understanding, no care, no concern, no reliability, and in fact do not represent them at all," the CNN has quoted Gingrich as saying in his victory speech to supporters.

Mitt Romney was considered as a clear winner in South Carolina as most of the polls suggested a double digit victory for the New Hampshire winner.

With the victory of Newt Gingrich, Republicans have three different candidates in the first three state by state contests which decide the Republican candidate to run against Barack Obama in the November 6 presidential election.

Earlier, New Hampshire primary was won by Romney and Iowa by Rick Santorum.

"Thank you South Carolina! Help me deliver the knockout punch in Florida," Gingrich wrote in his Twitter page after his victory. Newt Gingrich would be facing the Florida primary in the next round which will be held on January 31.