London has revealed itself to be a Remain enclave at odds with the rest of the country as voters in the capital bucked the national election trend to swing behind pro-EU parties.
The Lib Dems convincingly beat one-time Tory mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith in Richmond Park, which backed Remain by 71 per cent in 2016.
And Labour won ex-Conservative cabinet minister Justine Greening’s former seat of Putney, a 72 per cent Remain stronghold.
Jeremy Corbyn’s half-hearted Brexit position has bombed in the party’s northern heartlands and cost him the election – but hiked votes in pro-EU pockets of the capital softened the otherwise devastating blow.
The Lib Dems convincingly beat one-time Tory mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith in Richmond Park, which backed Remain by 72 per cent in 2016
Putney, the former seat of ex-Tory cabinet minister Justine Greening which backed Remain by 72 per cent in 2016, turned red in the early hours of Friday morning for the first time since 2005
Meanwhile the Lib Dems, whose woeful night was complete following the unseating of leader Jo Swinson, were also otherwise buoyed by taking a major scalp.
Sarah Olney put 8,000 votes past Tory minister Mr Goldsmith to reclaim the west London seat she lost in 2017.
His crushing defeat dismayed Boris Johnson’s girlfriend Carrie Symonds, who spent hours canvassing in the marginal seat.
After the Conservative loss in the early hours of Friday, the 31-year-old tweeted: ‘Gutted to hear that Zac Goldsmith hasn’t been re-elected in Richmond.
‘We have lost a truly decent, hardworking MP. I know I will continue to work with him to promote animal welfare and protect our oceans & environment. Zac is one of my heroes.’
Down the road in Putney, Labour candidate Fleur Anderson rode a 6.4 per cent swing to beat the Conservative would-be MP by almost 5,000 votes.
The result was a marked contrast to the rest of the UK, which witnessed Labour’s former strongholds in the North back Mr Johnson.
In a trend that lends weight to the criticism of the capital being a metropolitan bubble, Labour surged in a slew of London Remain seats.
Heading into Thursday’s crunch ballot, arch-Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith was facing stiff competition from Labour in his Remain majority Chingford and Woodford Green seat in east London.
Labour had poured resources into the constituency in the hope of ousting the ex-Tory leader and claiming one of the party’s most high-profile figures.
Mr Goldsmith’s crushing defeat dismayed Boris Johnson’s girlfriend Carrie Symonds, who spent hours canvassing in the marginal seat
Labour candidate Fleur Anderson rode a 6.4 per cent swing to beat the Conservative would-be MP by almost 5,000 votes
While candidate Faiza Shaheen did not manage to topple him, she did massively eat into his once 2,000-vote majority, slashing it in half.
Mr Corbyn’s muddled Brexit policy to hold a second referendum between a new withdrawal deal and staying in the EU was widely ridiculed as a vote between Remain and watered-down Remain.
But with the Lib Dems tanking in the polls, many metropolitan Europhiles in the capital believed this pledge for a so-called People’s Vote would be their best chance of blocking Brexit.
Labour-held Battersea was another constituency believed to be under threat of falling to the Conservatives, but Mr Corbyn’s anti-Brexit credentials appeared to cut through in this 77 per cent Remain borough.
The Prime Minister hoovered up left-wing voters in the North’s working-class Leave seats with his ‘Get Brexit Done’ message.
The election exit poll put him on course to win a 64-seat majority, with Labour braced for its worst result since the 1930s.
In the 2016 referendum, Greater London voted to Remain by 60 per cent.
Last night’s Remain tidal wave in the capital also spilled out into the commuter belt and threatened to topple Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
The Conservative cabinet minister clung on to his Esher and Walton seat by 3,000 votes to fend off a resurgent Lib Dem campaign effort which risked overturning his 2017 20,000 majority.
The exit poll shows voters handing the Tories a massive 368 seats, with Labour languishing on 191 – down 71 on 2017 and the worst performance in modern history