Swindon is now fully a Labour town after Will Stone takes Swindon North from Justin Tomlinson.

Election night started badly for Conservatives in Swindon – the exit poll said Labour would be swept to power nationally, and then Swindon South was lost with a big swing from Robert Buckland to Heidi Alexander.

But if results at May’s local election in Swindon North wards were a guide, it seemed that perhaps Conservative MP Justin Tomlinson could buck the national trend and split Swindon’s MPs between parties for the first time.

The answer was that he could get close, but not close enough, and Swindon has held on to its record for voting for the national winner of a general election since 1983.

The new Labour MP for Swindon North, businessman and councillor Will Stone overturned a big majority of 16,000 for Mr Tomlinson in 2019 to win with a very respectable 4,103 majority.

Mr Stone, who was only elected as a borough councillor last year in May 2023 said: “I’m proud to be a part of Keir Starmer’s Labour Party, and we have stood on a platform of change. I’m not afraid of the challenges we face. We will tackle them with sensible and practical solutions.

“And we will deliver for the people of North Swindon. I can’t wait to get stuck in, get cracking on the job in hand and be your voice in Westminster.”

An emotional Mr Tomlinson paid a heartfelt tribute to Mr Stone and said: “This is a dreadful result for the Conservative Party; colleagues will come up with excuses and put spin on it, but there is no excuse, nationally we are a team and we got the result we deserved."

After the end of his speech, he and Mr Stone shared a hug, showing what looked like genuine respect and affection for each other.

As in south Swindon Reform UK came a solid third in the constituency, and if added to Mr Tomlinson’s votes, the 7,557 given to Les Willis would have seen him past Mr Stone’s by a couple of thousand.

And the Green candidate Andy Bentley will be pleased to nearly double his party’s vote share and to hold on to his deposit.

As the rest of the candidates left the stage, independent candidate Debbie Hicks stepped up to the microphone to shout at the assembled tellers, officials, activists and journalists to “Prepare for World War. It’s coming. You won’t be laughing when it’s your children drafted in.”

The full result was

Labour                              Will Stone            17,930  40.6      

Conservative                   Justin Tomlinson 13,827  31.3      

Reform UK                        Les Willis              7,557    17.1      

Green                                Andy Bentley        2,366    5.4        

Liberal Democrats          Flo Clucas              2,086    4.7        

Independent                   Debbie Hicks         260        0.6        

TUSC                                  Scott Hunter        139        0.3        

Majority             4,103                  

Turnout   60.5 per cent.