LABOUR in York has bucked the national trend by retaining its York Central seat, even boosting its share of the vote.

Rachael Maskell is the new MP for York Central, after she won a comfortable 7,000 vote majority over the second placed Conservative candidate Robert McIlveen.

Ms Maskell was confirmed as the new MP minutes after shadow chancellor Ed Balls lost his seat in Leeds, and against a backdrop of dozens of losses for Labour across the country - and immediately pledged to “fight on” despite the party’s heavy losses nationally.

Ms Maskell won 20,212 votes - around 42 percent of the vote and a two percent increase on the result for her predecessor Hugh Bayley five years ago.

Conservative candidate Robert McIlveen took 13,496 votes - 28 percent of the vote.

In her victory speech - delivered after the declaration around 8.30am - she thanked the people of York for their votes, and promised not to let them down, by fighting for the NHS.

She added: “As I have been out campaigning, it’s been extraordinary hearing the stories of the things that they face in their every day lives. As their MP I will be their champion and make sure they have a fair chance in their lives.

“But I will also take up the big vision for our country and make sure it is fairer, and rebuild trust in our society and make sure we have greater equality.

“The NHS has been a big issue on the doorstep - that and the cost of living. People are really struggling at this time. We will make sure that we don’t let those people down, no matter what the administration is.”

Of the Conservative triumph and Labour defeat nationally, she said it was “obviously disappointing” but she would continue to fight on. Earlier in the evening, Mr McIlveen had spoken of his delight at seeing Conservatives take an unexpected majority in the Commons after favourable exit polls.

“I was delighted by the exit poll, and it just keeps getting better and better,” he said.

“David Cameron has played an absolute blinder - I’ve seen the swing so far and it’s huge.”

The public obviously value “financial responsibility” she added, and the Labour party nationally failed to persuade people they could deliver that.

Full results for York Central

Rachael Maskell (Lab) - 20,212
Robert McIlveen (Con) - 13,496
Ken Guest (Ukip) - 4,795
Jonathan Tyler (Green) - 4,791
Nick Love (Lib Dem) - 3,804
Chris Whitwood (Yorkshire First) - 291
Megan Ollerhead (TUSC) - 288

Spoilt ballots - 224

Turnout - 64.4%

York Press:
 Rachael Maskell speaking after her victory