TORIES have won the Blyth Valley seat for the first time since 1950 as Boris Johnson smashes down Labour’s Red Wall.
A Labour stronghold for years, the Prime Minister’s efforts to win over the party’s traditional northern voters – typified by pollsters as “Workington Man” – are already paying off.
Conservative Ian Levy has stormed to victory in Blyth Valley
The Tories have taken Blyth Valley for the first time in decades
Ian Levy, the new Tory MP for the north east constituency, became tearful as he thanked his family and Mr Johnson.
He said: “I would like to thank the people of Blyth Valley. If the people of Blyth Valley hadn’t voted, I wouldn’t be here tonight.
“Finally I would like to thank my wife Maureen, my children Andrew and Alice. And I would like to thank Boris.
“I’m going to be on that train on Monday, I’m going to London, we’re going to get Brexit done.
“We are going to build a strong economy for the UK and do that together.”
Northumberland’s Blyth Valley hadn’t been predicted to turn blue this evening, and with dozens more seats marked as a close call, it means Mr Johnson’s victory margin could be even bigger.
And more so-called Red Wall of around 60 Labour marginals from Yorkshire to Wales, characterised by seats like Bolsover in Derbyshire and Crewe in Cheshire, could follow suit and crumble this evening.
If a new army of Red Tory voters marched to the polls today, the damage to Corbyn could be phenomenal.
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What we know so far:
- Boris Johnson hasbegun to break down Labour’s red wall by winning Blyth Valley– not a seat the exit poll had predicted – meaning the Tory majority could go even higher
- The pound surged by more thantwo per cent on the news tonight
- There were calls forJeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell to quit after the poor election result
- Boris Johnsonthanked voters in the “greatest democracy in the world” after the exit poll came in
- Lib Dem boss Jo Swinson is predicted to lose her seat in Scotland
- But the SNP surge north of the border meansBoris could face another fight on Scottish independence in future
- Nigel Farage boasted that theBrexit Party have done a great job – despite them not predicted to win a single seat
Prime Minister Mr Johnson, who gambled his premiership by triggering the vote, has sought to focus on his pledge to “get Brexit done” throughout the campaign.
Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign has been overshadowed by anti-Semitism allegations and his refusal to take a stand on Brexit.
Voters had braved freezing temperatures throughout the day to line up outside community halls, churches and schools to have their say – and risked being a touch late for work.
Astonishing pictures of snaking queues came despite initial fears of a low turnout in the first December election in nearly 100 years.
The third General Election in less than five years has been largely dominated by the 2016 vote to leave the European Union – with Labour pledging to give voters another say in a second referendum, while the Tories have vowed to take the UK out of the EU next month.
The last election in the UK in 2017 saw a 68.8 per cent turnout, higher than at the 2015 and 2010 elections – with bookies offering 6-4 odds on a 65-70 per cent turnout this year.
Boris has pledged to ‘get Brexit done’ throughout the election campaign
Corbyn promised to protect the NHS and bring in more police officers