IT was a momentous night for the Conservative Party as it held Shipley and took the key marginal battleground of Keighley back from Labour.

Mirroring the national picture, the Tories strengthened their position in the district with new Keighley MP Robbie Moore, while Shipley MP Philip Davies increased his majority.

It was a picture which seemed likely as the clock struck 10pm and the exit poll predicted a difficult night for the opposition in the face of a major Conservative majority.

As the results began to drip in, Mr Davies shared his insight into an election campaign largely defined by the thorny and divisive issue of Brexit.

He told the Telegraph & Argus: “I’m delighted, it looks as if there’s going to be a Conservative majority parliament, so I’m delighted about that.

“I think the main thing is really Labour abandoned its working class voters. I think that has been absolutely clear up and down the country, largely over Brexit.

“But it’s wider than that, they’ve basically been taken over by a very hard left-wing London-centric metropolitan, middle-class elite who have absolutely nothing in common with working class people in the North of England.”

Mr Davies described it as the party’s largest Achilles heel.

He added: “In wards like Windhill and Wrose, which would be a traditional working class ward in my constituency – the number of people there who, because of Brexit, because of Jeremy Corbyn, were voting Conservative rather than Labour was immense and they just feel as if the Labour Party has abandoned them.

“I’m not taking this election result as a great endorsement of the Conservative Party – I think people are pretty fed up of all politicians to be perfectly frank and I think any politician who takes the election result as a massive endorsement of them would be making a mistake.

“Many doorsteps, people were talking about who was the lesser evil and for many voters, Jeremy Corbyn was just something they couldn’t stomach.”

It was a view Mr Moore also found on the doorstep while canvassing.

“There was definitely a strong feeling that people were wanting us to respect that 2016 Brexit referendum result,” he said.

“There was also a strong feeling that people felt that Corbyn wasn’t getting, wasn’t respecting that.

“There was a strong feeling that people didn’t feel Corbyn was engaging with them.”

He said that was a feeling from “lifelong Labour voters”.

Geoff Winnard, Conservative councillor for Bingley, said it had been a “strange election”.

“We’ve had lots of people from other parties, particularly the Labour Party, saying they were going to vote for us for the first time,” he said.

“But equally we’ve had a minority of normal, Conservative, remain type voters, who said they wouldn’t vote for us.”

He added: “Brexit has been a major issue for lots of people in Shipley, but also I think there’s a genuine fear of the radicalism of Jeremy Corbyn - that lots of people wanted to say no to Corbyn even if they might ordinarily vote Labour.”

Jo Pike was hoping to win Shipley for Labour and said there had been “some really good positive feedback on the doorstep” and the turnout seemed to be higher than expected.

When asked about the issues on the doorstep, she said: “People are very worried about the NHS, that’s one of the main issues, also worried about education, cuts and austerity in general.

“Brexit, obviously.”

She added: “We’ve just had an amazing campaign, we’ve had more activists in Shipley than we’ve ever had before and it’s been really upbeat, really positive.

“Thank you so much to all the voters in Shipley, who, I think, have conducted themselves really well.

“I know there’s been a lot of aggravation for Labour candidates on the doorsteps elsewhere, we’ve not had that, so it’s just a fantastic constituency with brilliant people.”

The turnout in Shipley was 73.15 per cent. Philip Davies held the seat with 27,437 votes. Jo Pike got 21,195 while Liberal Democrat candidate Caroline Jones got 3,188. The Green Party’s Celia Hicks took home 1,301 votes and The Yorkshire Party’s Darren Longhorn scooped up 883 votes.

Speaking after his re-election, Mr Davies said: “At least the Government can now do what it wants to do without a battle royal with Parliament all the time – it can get Brexit done – which is I think what everyone knew we were having the election for in the first place, and then we’ve got to focus on the domestic priorities and keep our promises – more police officers, more money for schools, more money for the NHS, and my job as a backbench MP will be to hold the Government’s feet to the fire on that.”

He said local priorities would be getting a Shipley Eastern Bypass and to work with Keighley’s new MP to leave Bradford Council.

The turnout in Keighley was just under 73 per cent. Robbie Moore trounced to victory with 25,298 votes, Labour’s John Grogan got 23,080 votes, while Liberal Democrat candidate Tom Franks picked up 2,573.

The Brexit Party candidate Waqas Ali Khan got 850 votes, The Yorkshire Party’s Mark Barton got 667 and Matthew Edward Rose, for the Social Democratic Party, picked up 132 votes.

Mr Moore said: “We’ve got to get through the Brexit deadlock, but locally, what I really want to do is we’ve got install the pride back into Keighley itself.

“We’ve got to focus on reviving the high streets of Keighley Central, so looking at North Street, Cavendish Street and the Airedale Shopping Centre.

“As a Government we’ve already allocated £25 million to Keighley and Shipley – we’ve got make sure that money is spent wisely and we really need to get the parking issues sorted out in Ilkley.

“Actually, this is all feeding into a much bigger issue and I will be campaigning with Philip Davies to seriously look at pulling both of the constituencies away from Bradford Council.”

Outgoing MP Mr Grogan told the Telegraph & Argus: “We pushed them close, given the circumstances of the night, I think this must be one of the best results in Yorkshire, which I think the team can take pride in. Given the national swing, we’re just a couple of thousand away. In the end, the national swing, there was nothing we could do really.”

He said here were lessons for the national party to learn.

“Being in the mainstream is absolutely essential, it can’t be more of the same in five years’ time,” said Mr Grogan.

“Socialism is the language of priorities as Aneurin Bevan said many years ago, and I think we perhaps lost sight of that during the election campaign.”

He added: “It will be a moment of reflection for the Labour Party ahead, but we need to remember that only as a broad church we win.”