ONE year ago, the so-called Red Wall in Barrow fell when the results of the General Election were called.

Simon Fell, then Conservative candidate for the third time, had finally succeeded, and the result came as a shock to many - including himself.

“I had knocked the majority down with my last two attempts,” Mr Fell said.

“As soon as I started to knock on doors it was clear people were frustrated.

“Not just with Brexit, but with their attitude towards Jeremy Corbyn.

“Mr Corbyn ran his campaign out of London’s Islington and I think it was a difficult sell for the public in the area.

“It was still a surprise to me when I won, when you do this you can’t take anything for granted.

“It was absolutely incredible though, it knocked me off my seat!”

Mr Fell was heavily backed by the major powers in the Tory party with Home Secretary Priti Patel visiting Barrow in the lead up to the election.

The Barrow and Furness constituency was one of many Labour seats in the North-West to go, and one of the key cogs from that team has reflected on the election one year on.

South Walney Labour councillor Frank Cassidy was at the office coal-face as the race entered its final straight.

He said: “We had a good candidate in Barrow born-and-bred Chris Altree who grew up on a local housing estate and had a firm grasp of all the issues that were at play.

“We had loads of eye-catching and fully-costed manifesto pledges that were designed to help ordinary families and make things better for poorer people.

“Ten-hour days were not uncommon and gallons of coffee was consumed by everyone – apart from me who sipped Earl Grey tea with two sugars and loads of milk.

“The Mail and local radio journalists gave everyone a pretty fair shake, but the national media – which is largely controlled by right-wing millionaires – played its usual role in being extremely hostile to Labour.

“We also had to grapple with the fib lie that if Jeremy Corbyn won the election it would decimate jobs at the Shipyard.

“It wasn't true – Labour shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith came here to tell everyone it wasn't true – but it was an effective piece of Conservative propaganda and it did cut through on the doorstep.

“Brexit was also a big factor. Boris Johnson had pledged to get it done and that was popular with some voters.

“Looking back we couldn't really have worked any harder than we did and our consciences are clear in that regard. It's also probably worth saying that relations between local Labour party footsoldiers and our Conservative opponents were reasonably cordial.

“It was a political scrap, but a fair one.