The crumbling red wall: Darlington, Redcar, Bishop Auckland, and Burnley all fall to the Tories amid implosion of traditional support for Labour
- First sign of cracks came at 11.30pm when Blyth Valley backed the Conservatives
- It was followed by traditional strongholds Darlington, Wrexham and others
- Labour jewel Workington, said to represent the working man, also turned blue
Labour’s great red wall across the north of England appears to have crumbled to dust in the face of a relentless Conservative advance in this pivotal General Election.
The first sign of cracks came at Blyth Valley, outside Newcastle, which fell to the Conservatives for the first time since 1974.
Then Darlington, a north-east Labour stronghold since 1992 slipped through the wall, followed by the Vale of Clwyd, Labour since 1940, and Wrexham, which had backed the red rose since 1935.
Party bigwigs have desperately tried to deflect blame from Jeremy Corbyn‘s leadership, instead accusing the right-wing press and Brexit for destroying their support base.
Cheers and shouts of joy were heard from former Labour strongholds as it was announced they were changing hands.
How Labour’s red wall crumbled to dust: seat by seat
Blyth Valley, 11.30pm
Copeland remained Conservative, 2.27am
Stockton South, 2.35am
Blackpool South. 2.35am
Wolverhampton North East, 2.39am
Bishop Auckland, 2.49am
Among Labour jewels lost to the Tories is Workington, where they overturned a 3,000 majority to triumph by 4,000 votes.
The term Workington man is a reference to the ‘older, white, non-graduate man from the north of England with an interest in rugby league and a tendency to vote Labour’.
This demographic, according to a Conservative think-tank, is the key to handing the Prime Minister a thumping majority to see his Brexit deal through.
The walls implosion continued as stronghold Burnley disintegrated as the Conservatives won a 1,300 vote majority.
Throughout the night the wall’s implosion continued as Redcar and Stockton, in the north-east, and Burnley, above Manchester, all turned blue.
The shocking results, which suggest a monumental swing towards the Conservatives, have called into doubt Corbyn’s already wobbly leadership.
The beleaguered leader surfaced during the devastating night for the party to receive hugs at his Islington North constituency where the count is ongoing.
The Conservatives focused on a core message to ‘get Brexit done’ during their election campaign while Labour has made a multitude of spending pledges on the railways, infrastructure and WASPI women.
Workington Man is the brainchild of Lord O’Shaughnessy, a former Director of Policy for David Cameron, who wrote a report for Onward, a group which was founded by Will Tanner, a former adviser to Theresa May.