1. ITV Report

Joe Pike: Theresa May's Yorkshire visits 'looked to have been for nothing'

Theresa May listening to voters in Morley, a tory marginal constituency Credit: PA
  • By ITV Calendar Political Correspondent Joe Pike

It was the moment jaws dropped across Yorkshire politics, and throughout the Westminster bubble. Theresa May has visited our region more than any other this election, aside from Central London. And for one reason: she saw the M62 corridor as rich in marginal Labour seats to hoover up and turn Tory blue.

But when ITV's Tom Bradby announced the results of the official broadcasters' exit poll at 10pm, all those visits (from Dewsbury, to Morley and York) looked to have been for nothing.

Jeremy Corbyn campaigning in Hebden Bridge Credit: PA

It predicts the Conservatives will remain the largest party but lose their majority, meaning their is a 'hung parliament', i.e. no party has more than half of the seats. And that suggests Yorkshire's red Labour heartlands will stay as just that.

This snap general election was a gamble for Theresa May, and whatever the true result, that gamble has clearly not paid off. The Prime Minister has been bruised by the brutal nature of this campaign. And even if she remains in Number 10, the scars will remain.

Jeremy Corbyn and his advisers were always optimistic about their chances, but Labour reactions to this exit poll was a curious mix of disbelief, ecstasy and caution.

We'll have to wait many more hours for the full results in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.And this is one of those elections nights when it's really worth staying up all night.

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