The North East was a big focus of this election and you can see why in the results with 7 of the 29 constituencies seeing a switch from Labour to the Conservatives. The historical Labour “red wall” of the North East appears to have crumbled overnight and we're now looking at a more politically diverse region with seats spread across parties.
All eyes were on the North East last night as the Conservatives hoped to take seats from Labour in targeted areas such as Hartlepool, Darlington and Bishop Auckland. What we ended up seeing was a Conservative landslide, picking up 7 of Labour's seats and surprising everyone with results like Blyth Valley electing a Conservative candidate for the first time since it's creation in 1950. Hartlepool, considered a Brexit Party stronghold, re-elected Labour MP Mike Hill in an extremely narrow margin between the 3 leading parties of the area as Richard Tice took 25% of the areas votes.
We've taken a look at the 7 previously Labour North East constituencies with newly elected Conservative MPs:
Blyth Valley - Conservative gain from Labour
The first major shock came from Blyth Valley. The Conservative’s Ian Levy polled 17,440 compared to Labour’s 16,728, a majority of 1.7%. This was a big moment for the election, as Blyth Valley has returned a Labour representative since its creation in 1950. A big win for the Conservtives.
Bishop Auckland - Conservative gain from Labour
One of the more hotly contested seats, Labour’s Helen Goodman was defending a slim majority of 502 from 2017. However, Conservative Dehenna Davison polled 8,000 higher this election, totalling 24,067, a 17.8% majority.
Similar to Blyth Valley, a Conservative win in a Labour held area since 1935.
Darlington - Conservative gain from Labour
Darlington had also received attention as being one of the major battlegrounds. Jenny Chapman, Labour Shadow Brexit Minister, was defending a 3,000 lead, but Conservative Peter Gibson gained 3,000 more votes for a total of 20,901, a 7.6% majority over Jenny Chapman. This is the first switch since Labour gained it in 1992.
North West Durham - Conservative gain from Labour
Durham North West was the constituency for future Labour star and major Corbyn ally Laura Pidcock. But this election Conservative Richard Holden gained the seat with a 1,00 majority, a total of 19,990, and the first Labour loss in the area since 1950.
Redcar - Conservative gain from Labour
Conservative Jacob Young claimed victory in Redcar over Labour Anna Turley. Gaining 18,811 votes, this was 3,000 higher than the Labour defender. Labour gained this from the Liberal Democrats in 2010 and had looked to strengthen it.
Sedgefield - Conservative gain from Labour
Claiming the biggest gaining majority, Conservative Paul Howell won an 11% majority over Labour incumbent Phil Wilson. Howell claimed 19,609 votes, to Wilson’s 15,000. This is Labour’s first loss in the area since 1924.
Stockton South - Conservative gain from Labour
Stockton South was another knife-edge seat, with defender Paul Williams holding a majority of 888 from 2017. This time, Conservative Matt Vickers claimed 5,000 more votes than the Labour defender, polling 27,000 votes and a 9.6% majority.
This has also been a swing seat, wit Labour taking it off the Conservatives in 2017.
Overview of changes in the whole region: