General Election: Midlands - 24 hours of big breakthroughs and upsets

There is no doubt that this is a huge and significant victory for Labour in the Midlands - comfortably regaining the seats lost in 2019 and adding to the tally by eating into Tory heartlands.

But as ever there were some key themes and some remarkable surprises.

Perhaps the biggest upset was the loss of two Labour seats in Leicester.

Their vote was split three ways in Leicester East due to the array of Independent candidates - including the veteran former MP Keith Vaz - the result a remarkable gain for the otherwise embattled Conservative Party.

In Leicester South, the 'Gaza effect' led to the ousting of Labour high flyer Jonathan Ashworth.

It too is now held by an Independent MP. But the city has also witnessed splits and divisions within the local Labour Party in recent times.

The rise of Reform has not only led to defeat for sitting Conservatives as voters switched allegiance but it has also secured the party two MPs - Lee Anderson returned in Ashfield and Richard Tice in Boston and Skegness.

In the West Midlands, support for the Palestinian cause has led to defeat for long-standing Perry Barr Labour MP Khalid Mahmood and ugly scenes at the victory speech for Yardley’s Jess Philips - she was booed and heckled on the stage and she reminded her audience of the aggressive and hostile reception she and her team received when out campaigning.

  • Jess Phillips was booed as she was reelected as Birmingham Yardley MP

But there were resounding gains for Labour in other long held Conservative areas - Halesowen, Stourbridge and South Derbyshire have all turned red.

There will be celebrations in the rural counties - as the Greens have their first MP ever in the Midlands - in North Herefordshire - which was one of four key national targets - a big jump from their lowly fourth position in the constituency back in 2019.

And in North Shropshire, Stratford Cheltenham and Tewkesbury there are wins for the Liberal Democrats. The rise of the smaller parties perhaps an indication of voter fatigue with the same old Red and Blue.

So for the Midlands it’s been 24 hours of big breakthroughs and upsets. Undeniably many gains for labour are not because a big number of existing Tory voters have turned in their favour - but because they’ve turned towards Reform - and because many may not have even been bothered to turn out to vote.

Next we await the decisions of Sir Keir - who might he pick from his vast list of Midlands winners to join him at the cabinet table?

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