BLACKBURN provided the shock of the general election as Labour lost the once safe seat by just 132 votes as the rest of East Lancashire and the UK turned red.

Defending MP Kate Hollern was defeated by Independent Adnan Hussain who told the count in his acceptance speech: "This is for Gaza".

The loss of the constituency which Labour had held since its creation in 1955 left party activists stunned as its 2019 vote of 29,040 shrank to just 10,836.

Mr Hussain - backed by the Blackburn with Darwen Council 4BwD group who quit Labour over Gaza - got 10,518 votes as Mrs Hollern's majority of 18,304 vanished into thin polling day air.

But even as Labour lost its Blackburn fortress the party won the Rossendale and Darwen, Hyndburn, Pendle and Clitheroe, Burnley and Ribble Valley seats.

And nationwide Labour secured a landslide victory.

READ MORE: Adnan Hussain swamped by supporters after historic election win

Results from East Lancashire seats in general election 2024

Rossendale and Darwen's former Tory Party chairman Sir Jake Berry, Pendle and Clitheroe's health minister Andrew Stephenson. Ribble Valley MP for 32 years Nigel Evans, Burnley's first Tory MP for more than 100 years Antony Higginbotham and Hyndburn backbencher Sara Britcliffe joined Mrs Hollern as election day losers.

In his acceptance speech, new Blackburn MP Mr Hussain said: "This is for Gaza.

"I can't deny the fact that I stand here on this platform before you as a result of a protest vote on the back of a genocide.

"I feel a mixed amount of emotion, one that I can't truly explain. There is no excitement, not even a little.

"I can't forget the reason why I am here,

"I thank Kate Hollern for the contributions that she has made to our town.

"She has spoken up about Palestine but I am going to take it a notch further and make sure that I call it what I have been calling it for the last 10 years - a genocide.

"With our disillusion with mainstream politics means that it is time that we spoke the truth.

"I truly believe in a time of austerity, poverty, a housing crisis, an immigration crisis, our NHS is suffering that rather than contributing towards wars that will ultimately blow up in our faces we should be spending money on our people here,

"We shouldn't have people living on the streets, we shouldn't have a broken NHS. We shouldn't have the worries and anxieties that our people are facing across our town.

"I intend to speak up. I intend to speak for the common man and woman. I intend to speak for every single person in this town.

"I love every single person in this town. It's truly a time when we voice their voices. We voice the voices of the voiceless."

Mrs Hollern said: "Obviously I am disappointed but that's democracy."

Workers Party of Britain candidate Craig Murray came third in Blackburn with 7,105 votes with Reform UK's Tommy Temperley fourth with 4,844.

Conservative Jamie McGowan got just 3,474 compared to the party's 2019 second place performance of 10,736.

Liberal Democrat Adam Waller-Slack got 689 votes, down on his 1,130 in 2019, the Green Party's Denise Morgan 1,416.

The two remaining Independents Natasha Shah and Tiger Patel, who pulled out of the race to support Mr Murray, got 86 and 369 votes respectively.

With Blackburn one of the last seats to declare a result as dawn broke over the King George's Hall count venue after two partial recounts of bundles of votes, the implications of losing one of its safest seats for many years will reverberate through Labour.

Former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan Mr Murray said: "I think this is the most spectacular result of the whole general election.

"It's astonishing. It's a two-thirds collapse of the Labour vote. It's amazing.

"I was quite surprised I got so many votes."


Blackburn – Independent  WIN

Adnan Hussain - Independent 10,518

Kate Hollern - Labour  10,386

Jamie McGowan - Conservative 3,474

Denise Morgan - Green 1,416

Craig Murray - Workers Party 7,105

Tiger Patel - Independent 369

Natasha Shah - Independent 86

Tommy Temperley - Reform UK 4,844

Adam Waller-Slack - Liberal Democrat 689