It was a historic night for Blackburn politics and one that did not look likely at all until the election count actually began.

As the rest of the country was celebrating huge Labour wins, in Blackburn, Labour was struggling to hang on to a safe seat.

Over the years, Kate Hollern has done all she possibly could to address the concerns of her constituents. When called upon she has raised issues that matter to some voters and she has made a conscious effort to attend and meet people face-to-face.

The sign of a good MP is someone who will take genuine time out to address even the smallest of concerns, regardless of how important others might find it.

But that Labour brand has been tarnished in some communities.

Many voters it appears were not able to forgive comments made by Sir Keir Starmer after he seemed to say Israel had the ‘right’ to cut off water and energy to Gaza. Despite seemingly backtracking later there really was no going back.

It was being mentioned on many a doorstep and any association with Labour was tainted. This was a vote against Sir Keir more than it was against Kate Hollern.

You cannot also discount the number of votes that went instead to Reform UK and the Workers Party.

The Independents meanwhile, like in the local elections, ran another well-organised campaign that focussed on the town as well as concerns over Gaza. In fact, at times they were criticised for not saying enough about the ongoing situation in Gaza and concentrating on local issues.

Accusations of 'sectarian politics' actually take away from what was a remarkable victory.

A little bit of research would have noted that this was always going to be a two-horse race from the onset between Labour and Adnan Hussain. All local battles require local support, local people and local canvassers.

You only had to attend the rallies and walk the streets, meet the people, to sense which two candidates were the front runners.

Earlier this week, hundreds packed into a hall to hear Adnan Hussain speak. People were galvanised by a new young voice and they came out at the ballot box to make their voices heard.

Much of what has been shared online bore little resemblance to what was happening at grassroots level.

Following the results announcement, Mr Hussain was quick to praise his predecessor but also called for unity and an end to any divisions that may have been allowed to fester over the past few months.

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Results from East Lancashire seats in general election 2024

The passionate speech aimed to inspire supporters to remember that all communities, no matter where they live, are facing the same struggles on a daily basis.

There was also this moment, following the delayed result announcement where groups came together to congratulate or commiserate with their rivals. Where past rivalries were put aside and people were gracious in victory as they were in defeat.

Maybe there is a lot to learn in that one moment.