Labour lose nine seats to the Conservatives across Yorkshire as Boris Johnson sweeps to majority
Labour suffered a series of defeats to the Conservatives in its Yorkshire heartlands today as Boris Johnson's gamble on a snap General Election paid off with a Commons majority.
The seats of Wakefield, Don Valley, Rother Valley and Great Grimsby fell to the Tories after being held by Labour for decades, while the party also lost Colne Valley, Dewsbury, Keighley, Penistone & Stocksbridge and Scunthorpe on what was described by one senior MP as a "very bad night for the Labour Party".
The at-risk seats of Batley & Spen, Bradford South, Halifax, Hemsworth and Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford were all held with reduced majorities.
On an otherwise grim night, there were two pieces of good news for Labour as they held onto Sheffield Hallam, the seat previously held by absentee MP Jared O'Mara, at the expense of the Liberal Democrats and extended Alex Sobel's majority in Leeds North West.
The result could have been even worse for Jeremy Corbyn's party, which lost ground to the Conservatives in seats across the region and failed to challenge in its target seats like Pudsey or Morley and Outwood.
In both Barnsley seats, Bradford South and the Hull constituencies, sitting Labour MPs were returned with reduced majorities but with a vote total smaller than the combined Brexit Party and Conservative tallies.
Boris Johnson and the Conservatives won seat after seat in Labour's heartlands in the North and Midlands as his party romped to victory, while strengthening the Conservative majorities in most of its seats it held in rural North and East Yorkshire.
The exit poll released at 10pm predicted that the Tories would win 368 seats, giving him a majority of 86, a margin that was later reduced as results came in from around the country.
The landslide prompted Jeremy Corbyn to announce he will not lead Labour into another election after his party suffered humiliation. Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson also lost her seat to the SNP, who were set for a good night in Scotland.
Boris Johnson hailed his "powerful new mandate to get Brexit done" as his party romped to victory. He declared: "It does look as though this One Nation Conservative government has been given a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done."
He added: "Above all I want to thank the people of this country for turning out to vote in a December election that we didn't want to call but which I think has turned out to be a historic election that gives us now, in this new government, the chance to respect the democratic will of the British people to change this country for the better and to unleash the potential of the entire people of this country.
"And that is what we will now do, and if we are lucky enough to be returned, as the exit polls seem to suggest, then that work will begin tomorrow... or as I should say, not tomorrow, today!"
Mr Corbyn said that he would call it a day as leader as he was re-elected in his London seat. He said he would discuss with the party how to ensure there was a "process of reflection ".
"I will lead the party during this period to ensure this discussion takes place."
But he faced angry recriminations over his party's poor performance. Leeds-born John Mann, who stood down as Labour's MP in Bassetlaw and saw his old seat won by the Conservatives, said: "People have made their minds up, they don't want Corbyn and they don't want Corbynism."
Caroline Flint, who was ousted as Don Valley MP by Tory Nick Fletcher, said of Mr Corbyn that the bad result was "not about him per se, it is about the politics he espouses".
The first Tory to win Rother Valley in the seat's 101-year history has said his victory means "everywhere is up for grabs".
The South Yorkshire seat had returned a Labour candidate in every election since it was created in 1918 until this morning when 32-year-old Alex Stafford won with a majority of 6,000 over his Labour rival, Sophie Wilson.
Mr Stafford was not born when Labour stalwart Sir Kevin Barron, who retired ahead of the election, was first elected in 1983.
Speaking after his victory, he said: "I think it shows there's no such area as a safe Labour area. Across the country we're seeing these huge Labour majorities falling. People are tired of the same old Labour." He added: "Everywhere is up for grabs."
Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith, who was returned as Skipton and Ripon MP with a majority of 23,694, said he was "delighted with the gains made by Boris Johnson's Conservative party, which will allow the Government to move forward with Brexit & ensure business and consumer confidence that will benefit families and firms across Yorkshire".
Labour MP Hilary Benn has said people did not have confidence in Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.
Speaking on Sky News, the Leeds Central MP said: "Well, I think, very simply, for many voters, Brexit was the one thing that mattered and they voted accordingly.
"Secondly, any Labour canvasser will tell you we knocked on too many doors where people said 'I've voted Labour all my life but I'm not going to vote Labour in this occasion', and they didn't have confidence in the leadership of the party.