Boris Johnson's Tories completed an incredible electoral hat-trick this afternoon to pile more misery on Keir Starmer's Labour.
The Conservative Andy Street romped home to remain mayor of the West Midlands, thrashing former minister Liam Byrne in a vote that the opposition had hopes of winning.
It came after wins in the Hartlepool by-election for Jill Mortimer and mayoral vote in the Tees Valley by Ben Houchen to complete a dominant display for the governing party 11 years into its tenure.
The West Midlands defeat is especially embarrassing for Labour and Mr Byrne personally, after he confidently predicted his own victory.
Mr Street, the former boss of John Lewis, came close to winning outright in the first round with 48.7 per cent of valid first preference votes.
But after the second round of voting he emerged with 54 per cent of the vote to Mr Byrne's 46 per cent.
In his acceptance speech Mr Street hailed Boris Johnson's 'levelling-up' agenda, adding: 'I'll be banging on the door to make sure that commitment comes good.'