Shropshire Star

Sir Keir's stunning turnaround has seen the West Midlands turn red – but he owes Nigel Farage a beer

For Sir Keir Starmer, the results in the West Midlands are better than anything he could have hoped for.

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It was far better than Tony Blair's 'Things Can Only Get Better' triumph in 1997. Truly, this has been a political earthquake.

Not only has he won pretty much every seat that was on his hit list, he has won in places that were not even on his radar.

Back in March, when Labour was already riding high in the polls, a strategist shared with me the seats in the region that the party was expecting to win, and the ones where they saw little hope. Today, most of these now have Labour MPs.

The Tories always knew they would lose Wolverhampton West, West Bromwich, Walsall and Bloxwich and Tipton and Wednesbury. They probably expected to lose Wolverhampton North East, Shrewsbury and Telford. But Cannock Chase? Lichfield? And only just scraping through in Aldridge-Brownhills? Few saw that coming.

This is a remarkable comeback for a party which four years ago appeared to be facing an existential crisis. Indeed, just two-and-a-half years ago, Sir Keir's leadership appeared to be in the balance as he trailed Boris Johnson's Conservatives in the polls. No leader in living memory has turned round a broken demoralised party in such a space of time.