Liverpool has re-elected five Labour MPs for its seats in Westminster as the ballots across the rest of the country have produced a shock Conservative majority victory which few predicted.
It would have taken a major upset for Labour to lose any of the constituencies it held in the city – in Garston and Halewood, Riverside, Walton, Wavertree and West Derby – and so it proved as Maria Eagle, Louise Ellman, Steve Rotheram, Luciana Berger and Stephen Twigg were all voted back in.
The biggest local casualty on election night came across the Mersey in Wirral West, where Tory Employment Minister Esther McVey lost her seat to Labour’s Margaret Greenwood. Ms McVey, who was pipped by 417 votes following a recount, immediately pledged to resume her political career.
Former television presenter McVey said: “It was a brutal campaign, but you’ve got to get on with things. I won’t go back to television presenting, I want to be a politician as I want to represent and support people in the UK.”
Greenwood told her backers: “A huge thank you to everyone who has campaigned so hard. You have been truly amazing and this is your victory.”
Elsewhere on the peninsula, Labour’s Frank Field, Alison McGovern and Angela Eagle retained seats in Birkenhead, Wirral South and Wallasey.
Back in Liverpool, which bucked the national trend on an otherwise disastrous night for the Labour party, all of the MPs saw their majorities significantly increase, no-one more so than Ms Berger.
She saw her margin of victory rise from just over 7,000 in 2010 to more than 24,000 this year and said afterwards: “Thank you to the people of Liverpool Wavertree for returning me as their MP – I will fight every day for you.”
In the local elections, Labour strengthened its grip on Liverpool City Council, winning 29 of the 31 available seats – an increase of three to make it 81 of 90 overall – while the party also retained Wirral Council with one gain, and won all the election wards in Knowsley.
Additional reporting by Nathan Archer