Newcastle upon Tyne election result: Labour holds as UK looks on course for hung parliament

Chi Onwurah re-elected as MP with an increased majority in earliest result

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Indy Politics

Labour has held Newcastle upon Tyne Central, the first result to be declared in the general election, and increased its majority in the seat compared to 2015.

Chi Onwurah was re-elected as MP with 24,071 votes – 64.9 per cent of the vote – while Conservative candidate Steve Kyte picked up 9,134 votes, or 24.6 per cent.

This represents a two per cent swing from Conservative to Labour. In 2015, Ms Onwurah took 55 per cent of the vote, with 19,301 votes.

Liberal Democrat candidate Nick Cott took 4.9 per cent of the vote, while David Muat, standing for Ukip, took 4 per cent – down 10 per cent from 2015.

Both Ms Onwurah and Mr Kyte saw an increased proportion of the vote, with Labour votes up nearly 10 per cent and votes for the Tories up by 5.7 per cent.

The shock exit poll suggests Theresa May, who triggered the election with a huge majority in the polls over her main opponent Jeremy Corbyn, will lose her overall majority and only take 314 seats in total.

Labour also held the seat of Houghton and Sunderland South, with Bridget Phillipson increasing the party's majority with 24,665 votes, around 60 per cent of the vote, compared to Conservative Paul Howell with 12,324 votes, or around 30 per cent of the total.

Bridget Phillipson of the Labour Party smiles after being announced as the winner of the election for the constituency of Houghton and Sunderland South at a counting centre for Britain's general election in Sunderland (Reuters)

Newcastle and Sunderland are famously the earliest seats to declare their results, as local students race to deliver ballot boxes to be counted.

This year Newcastle narrowly beat its arch-rival Sunderland, which has been first to declare a result for the last 25 years, by six minutes.

Newcastle saw a turnout of 37,094, or 67 per cent of the electorate.

As leader of the party that seems certain to win the most seats, Ms May will have the first opportunity to form a government.

However, should she prove unable to pass key legislation such as a budget or Queen's Speech, Mr Corbyn could be asked by the Queen to attempt to form a government in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, SNP and Greens. 

The exit poll suggests such a coalition would have 323 seats, which, if Sinn Fein follows its tradition of not taking its seats in Parliament, would be enough for a tiny majority.