There was a surprise in South East Cornwall when Labour’s Anna Gelderd won the seat from Conservative Sheryll Murray, who has held the constituency since 2010.

Sheryll Murray admitted she had been ‘swimming against the tide’ and shed tears as she lost her seat. She was defeated by her Labour rival in a night which saw the Conservatives totally wiped off the map in Cornwall, all six seats taken by either Labour or the Lib Dems.

South East Cornwall was a somewhat unexpected victory for conservation charity worker Gelderd, in a result announced at 6.45am on the Friday morning.

The Labour candidate got 15,670 votes (31.8 per cent of the vote); with Tory Sheryll Murray on 13,759 (27.9 per cent); followed by Reform UK with 9,311 (18.9 per cent); Lib Dem Colin Martin (16.8 per cent), Green Martin Corney 1,999 votes; and Graham Cowdry of the Heritage Party 263 votes.

Turnout in the constituency was 68 per cent, from a total electorate of 72,728. The historic result was a 11.5 per cent swing to Labour with a 31.1 per cent swing away from the Conservatives. Reform UK took a substantial bite out of what would have been Conservative support, arguably allowing the Labour victory.

Speaking at the count, Sheryll Murray was tearful, telling the BBC: “When you’re swimming against the tide and the tide is that strong then you’re never going to overcome it, so thank you South East Cornwall because I’ve had a ball.”

In her acceptance speech, new MP Anna Gelderd said: “We made history in South East Cornwall with our first ever Labour MP here. Thank you to the people who voted, and I want to give thanks to Sheryll Murray for her 14 years of service.

“Whether you live in a town or a village, make a living on a farm, from the sea or an office, I will represent each of you and be the fresh start we all need. The hard work of change starts now.”

It was a dramatic night in Cornwall, which saw its six Conservative MPs all lose their seats. Labour won Camborne and Redruth, St Austell and Newquay, Truro and Falmouth and South East Cornwall, while the Lib Dems took St Ives and North Cornwall.