General election 2010: Lib Dems take Redcar with shock 21.8% swing

By Catherine Stevenson

The Liberal Democrats have routed Labour in Redcar, ousting Vera Baird with an enormous 21.8% swing.

Lib Dem Ian Swale took 45% of the vote, despite the fact Redcar has been traditionally viewed as a core Labour heartland constituency.

The popularity of government has plummeted here.

The constituency was hit hard recently when the Corus Steel Plant was mothballed.

There has been fierce local criticism of the Labour government for not doing more to intervene to revive the plant which was so crucial to the local economy.

Needless to say, losing the seat will hit Labour spirits hard, but for the Lib Dems it will be refreshing news.

Nick Clegg’s party’s results so far tonight are generally regarded to be surprisingly weak in spite of promising poll results following his performance in the debates.