ROBIN Walker is celebrating this morning after holding Worcester for the Conservatives - but not without an almighty scare.

Amid gripping scenes, the Tory Brexit minister held on with a majority of just 2,508 after a fierce two-party battle with Labour's Joy Squires.

In a night of high tension at Perdiswell Leisure Centre, the three smaller parties all suffered a serious voting squeeze resulting in an intense contest between Mr Walker and Cllr Squires.

Worcester News:

Just two years ago Mr Walker held the seat by a majority of 5,646, but the margin plunged 55 per cent to turn the city into a key marginal once more.

At one point during the count there were even rumours of a recount, with Labour's vote significantly up in areas of Worcester like Warndon Villages, Battenhall and St Stephen.

In the end Mr Walker got 24,731 votes compared to 22,223 for Cllr Squires.

Worcester News:

He said: "I'm hugely honoured by the trust that's been placed in me by the people of Worcester.

"It's a huge credit that we've seen an increased turnout and I'm delighted, obviously to be re-elected.

"I'm incredibly proud of this city - one news organisation recently described this place as the most average in Britain, I disagree - this is a fantastic city."

During his victory speech he also hailed his result as the "biggest Conservative vote in Worcester in 25 years", up almost three per cent in 2015 and the biggest ever under the city's current parliamentary boundaries.

Worcester News:

Cllr Squires' vote surged by 9.3 per cent, leading to her using her speech to praise Jeremy Corbyn.

"It's been an enjoyable few weeks and we've all had some interesting and entertaining times during the hustings," she said.

"I'm incredibly proud of the positive Labour campaign we ran in Worcester.

"When I started my campaign I said I wanted to give people hope - Jeremy Corbyn has given us all hope in Worcester, against all the odds."

Worcester News:

She congratulated Mr Walker but asked him "what kind of victory is it", saying he had "nothing to say" during the campaign apart from backing Mrs May over Brexit.

Lib Dem Stephen Kearney came third, with the party's vote share remaining the same as 2015 - he got 1,757 votes.

But it proved a chastening night for Green Party candidate Louis Stephen, who was pushed into fifth place behind UKIP, getting 1,211 votes.

Worcester News:

The two-party squeeze saw UKIP's vote collapse 10 per cent, with Paul Hickling on 1,354 in fourth place.

Mr Kearney blamed first-past-the-post for squeezing the Lib Dem vote, saying: "I do feel we're in the middle of a very complex time politically, the middle parties have been completely squeezed."

He said people had "clearly voted strategically", insisting he would carry on in his aim to build "a Liberal Democracy in Worcester".

Worcester News:

Cllr Stephen said: "It looks as though there's been a big shift to Labour, unfortunately the Green Party has been squeezed.

"Our voting system in this country pushes people towards tribal politics."

Mr Hickling said a lot of UKIP supporters had "gone to the blues, just like lots of the Greens have switched to Labour", but said his party would focus on trying to win council seats next year.

Worcester News:

Elsewhere, independent Alex Rugg came sixth on 109 while a Mark Shuker, standing for a movement called Compass, got 38 votes in seventh.

The turnout in Worcester was 70 per cent, one per cent higher than in 2015, with 51,529 votes cast.

The result was declared shortly after 3am - see our live rolling coverage HERE.