IF polling day was a bad day for Labour in East Lancashire, it was a disaster for the smaller parties.

They were squeezed out. It was and all round bad day for the Liberal Democrats where Chantelle Seddon’s 4,776 votes in third place in Ribble Valley was the high point.

In Blackburn they got 1,130, Hyndburn 1,226, Rossendale and Darwen 2,011, and in Pendle 1,548.

In Burnley, which Gordon Birtwistle held for them between 2010 and 2015, a Brexit-inspired split in their ranks cost them dear the Conservatives swept Labour away to record their first MP for the town since 1910.

He got 3,501 votes while his former colleague and Burnley and Padiham Independent party candidate Charlie Briggs got 1,162.

Indeed Brexit Party candidate Stewart Scott almost overhauled former MP Mr Birtwistle with 3,362 votes.

Indeed Nigel Farage’s troops managed a respectable performance in the Labour-held seats they contested - 2,770 votes for Rick Moore and third place in Blackburn and 2,165 and third in Hyndburn ahead of the LibDems.

This shows that even if Boris Johnson’s ‘Get Brexit Done’ mantra hoovered up most of the Leave supporters, those candidates backing remain got short shrift from East Lancashire’s electors.

The Greens had a nightmare.

Dr Reza Hossain got just 741 votes in Blackburn; Katrina Brockbank 845 in Hyndburn; Clare Hales 678 in Pendle; Sarah Hall 1,193 in Rossendale and Darwen; Laura Fisk 739 in Burnley; and Paul Yates 1,704 in Ribble Valley.

Blackburn agent and veteran Green campaigner Robin Field was left mystified at his party's failure to make a breakthrough and record a respectable vote.

He could not understand how Dr Hossain, a well-known local GP with an impeccable environment record as a former Greenpeace ship's doctor, could record such a low vote.

Gordon Lishman, the Libdem candidate in Pendle and veteran of many failed campaigns by the party, was disappointed to lose yet another deposit with less than five per cent of the vote.

He said: “I don’t think I shall be standing again. I’ve done my bit.

“I will have other things to do including looking at where the party goes now.

"It's hard to believe I got 12,662 votes standing in Pendle in 1987."

With a leader Jo Swinson who lost her Scottish seat and a policy of reversing Brexit without a second referendum that clearly went down like a lead balloon, it looks like the 72-year-old and 76-year-old Mr Birtwistle may be busy in their efforts to revive a party that was in a coalition government with the Conservatives from 2010 to 2015.

If the Greens and the LibDems - both avowedly 'Remain' parties - did badly, the quarter of Independents seeking to break the party political mould in East Lancashire fared even worse.

Rizwan Shah in Blackburn polled 319 votes; John Richardson in Pendle 268; Karen Helsby-Entwistle in Burnley 132; and Tony Johnson in Ribble Valley 551.

The clear messages from this morning's results are that East Lancashire residents see politics as a two-horse race and the smaller parties might add colour and choice but are not taken seriously; and that the LibDems are a spent force,