Labour have regained power in Darlington as the party celebrates a string of victories across the North East with the town's new MP affirming it's time to "get to work".

It was a narrow defeat for the Conservatives in Darlington just after 2am on Friday morning (July 5) when Labour candidate Lola McEvoy was confirmed as the town's next MP with a slim majority of 2,298 votes over outgoing Conservative Peter Gibson.

This defeat is one of many across the country following a disastrous night at the polls for the Conservative Party who have been entirely wiped out in the North East apart from in Stockton West - where Matt Vickers retained his seat.

Coming in third place in Darlington was Reform UK candidate Michael Walker who managed to get 6,852 votes as others in the North East scooped as much as 27 to 29 per cent of the tally.

Ms McEvoy’s victory was revealed following hours of nail-biting few hours of counting in the hushed hall of the Dolphin Centre - the only sound that could be heard was the swishing of ballot papers.

Following a rapturous boom of cheers and claps as she took to the podium, Ms McEvoy was smiling ear to ear as she thanked the town for putting their faith in her.

Darlington's new Labour MP Lola McEvoy.Darlington's new Labour MP Lola McEvoy. (Image: CHRIS BOOTH)

She said: “It's a great honour that I have been elected tonight and I just want to say thank you to everyone who voted. Regardless of your party, I am on your side.

“If you didn't vote, I hope for the next General Election I can win your vote. The future is bright - it's time for a change. You voted for it, and we will deliver it.”

Outgoing MP Peter Gibson was first to congratulate Ms McEvoy as he delivered a short speech - stating the role is of both "great pressure" but also "great privilege".

He added: "I believe that I have served the people of Darlington to the absolute best of my ability over the last four and a half years.

"Lola - it is a real privilege and I hope you enjoy it and deliver the service to the town that these people deserve."

Following a flood of congratulations, a barrage of hugs and well wishes, Ms McEvoy told The Northern Echo she is simply “excited” to get started.

Darlington's new Labour MP Lola McEvoy.Darlington's new Labour MP Lola McEvoy. (Image: CHRIS BOOTH)

She said: “I am feeling so humbled and proud. People have voted for hope – the work begins now. It’s going to be a brighter future for everyone in our town.”

“It is incredible. We knew speaking to people at the doors that they wanted change. When I saw the exit poll, I welled up, it’s a huge moment for the country.

“Putting decency back front and centre into British politics. Putting politics in the service of people. That’s what we campaigned on and that’s what we will deliver.”

She added: “I’m so excited to get started and I’m so grateful to the people of Darlington who spoke to me and shared their stories. It’s been a wonderful campaign.”

Lola McEvoy with her husband following her victory.Lola McEvoy with her husband following her victory. (Image: CHRIS BOOTH)

The new MP's priorities as she heads into office include championing mental health, a green industrial future, better public services and creating a "town where every child can thrive".

Despite Darlington faring better for the Conservatives in the region, which in many places were booted down into third place, it is not the only seat lost by the party in what has been a staggering wipeout in the North East.

Hexham, Bishop Auckland, Newton Aycliffe, Spennymoor and Redcar are just some of the seats which have turned red but have been narrowly followed by Reform UK.

The newcomer party led by Nigel Farage garnered their fair share of the vote - often, at times, coming in second to Labour and beating the Conservatives.

Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson retained her seat in Houghton and Sunderland South with a total of 18,837 votes - followed by Sam Woods-Brass of Reform UK with 11,668.


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The full results for Darlington are as follows:

  • LAB - Lola McEvoy: 16,621
  • CON - Peter Gibson: 14,323
  • LD - Simon Thorley: 1,735
  • GRN - Matthew Snedker: 2,847
  • REF - Michael Walker: 6,852

The turnout for the town was 60%.