PETER Kyle retained his Hove seat but said the Labour Party was facing a “historic challenge”.

The MP beat Conservative challenger Robert Nemeth convincingly, earning 58 per cent of the vote.

But Mr Kyle’s vote share shrank by almost six per cent compared with the 2017 General Election.

The Labour MP called this year’s election a “historic mistake” and said leader Jeremy Corbyn had failed.

“You can’t lose two elections in a row and not be considered a failure,” he said.

“I feel vindicated in voting against a General Election.

“It was a historic mistake and the country has now spoken.

“The Labour Party has a historic challenge to overcome.”

As Labour experienced its worst electoral performance since 1935, Mr Kyle said his party’s policies only appealed to its members.

“People have told me that our economic platform was not grounded in the realities of life,” he said.

“They want a leadership that can appeal to the people of this country, not just members of the Labour Party.

“We have heard time and time again about the factions here within the party. Their attacks have to come to an end.

“Residents have told us they want us to listen and to change.

“I am here to say I have been listening and I’m here to fight for the change we need.”

Mr Kyle said he would not run for Labour Party leader and said there were a few female MPs who could be potential leaders.

The Hove MP had previously backed Liz Kendall in the 2015 Labour Party leadership election.

Conservative Mr Nemeth said he was sad he had not won the seat.

The party’s vote share fell by 3.5 per cent compared to the 2017 election.

“I’m sad it looks possible Hove is trailing the rest of the country in standing up to Corbynism,” Cllr Nemeth said.

“But this election is not about just one seat, but our proud nation.

“It has made the whole campaign worth it.

“I didn’t predict that kind of majority.”

Lib Dem candidate Beatrice Bass came in third, enjoying the highest vote share increase of any party on the night.

The Swiss-Brit said both Labour and Tory voters had been tempted over to her party.

“When I was on the doorstep a lot of Tories said they couldn’t vote for Boris Johnson because of his stance on Brexit,” she said.

“And there were a lot of Labour voters switching to the Lib Dems because they were moving too far left.”

But she expressed disappointment at her party’s middling performance nationally.

“Britain voted for a man who hides in fridges,” she said.

“He’s got a big job to do now. He’s going to have to deliver.

“He was mayor of London and wasted tonnes of money on the Garden Bridge, cable cars and water cannons.

“How is he going to do Brexit?”

Green candidate Ollie Sykes doubled the number of votes he got in 2017, bringing the party up to fourth place in Hove.

But he said he feared for the future of Britain.

“Seeing the exit poll was quite depressing,” he said.

“I was hoping for a hung Parliament as it was the only way through the mess that we’re in.

“I really fear for the future of our country and the economic impact of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.

“Things would have gone much better if Labour had co-operated with us and stood down in some seats.”

Brexit Party candidate Angela Hancock said she had done better than expected, despite finishing fifth.

“We had quite a lot of support in Hangleton and Goldsmid,” she said.

“We had more volunteers than I expected.

“The result is good for the Tories but bad for the country.”

Despite her party not winning any seats nationally, Ms Hancock said it was not a mistake for leader Nigel Farage to withdraw its candidates from Tory-controlled seats.

“He had no choice but to do that,” she said.

“In World War Two, even Churchill partnered with Stalin for the good of the country.

“Boris couldn’t even partner with Farage.”

The only no-show at the count was Monster Raving Loony Party candidate Dame Dixon.

Brighton Pavilion candidate Citizen Skwith revealed Ms Dixon was busy as she was “washing Hanky Panky’s underwear”.