THE region's newest MP has promised to fight for the people he represents and be a leading voice in Westminster.
It was a comprehensive victory for Labour's Andy McDonald in the Middlesbrough by-election when the result was announced in the early hours of Friday morning.
The solicitor secured 10,201 votes, ahead of UKIP candidate Richard Elvin in second with 1,990 and Liberal Democrat George Selmer with 1,672.
Conservative candidate Ben Houchen came fourth with 1,063 votes, only three ahead of Imdad Hussain for the Peace Party.
The BNP's Peter Foreman won 328 votes ahead of John Malcolm for the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition with 277 and independent Mark Heslehurst with 275.
The turnout was just 26 per cent – less than half the number who voted in the 2010 general election.
In his victory speech, Mr McDonald said: "I feel so proud to represent the town I was born and brought up in.
"I promise to fight for all of the people who live here. The people of the town have spoken.
"Tonight we have a new voice in Westminster and I shall make it loud and clear.
“It has been an exhilarating and exhausting couple of weeks but the work really starts now. I intend to get an office opened in the town centre and soon as possible so that I can hear about the concerns of residents and ensure that they are listened to.”
The Ukip candidate was jubilant after he came home a strong second in the polls.
Mr Elvin said: “I'm absolutely delighted that we have done so well and shown that people in Middlesbrough are sick of the three traditional parties.
"This result comes on the back of our strong showing in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections and shows that we are a credible fourth party.”
The Liberal Democrat candidate Mr Selmer finished a strong third in the polls and neighbouring colleague Ian Swales said it showed the party had made progress in the town.
The Redcar Liberal Democrat MP said: “It was always going to be a tough ask in Middlesbrough but we have shown that we are making progress.
“By-elections are notoriously tricky for the parties that are in power because people always take the chance to kick the government and tonight's result shows that.”
Labour's majority of 48.68 per cent was well up on the 26 per cent margin recorded in 2010 by Sir Stuart Bell, whose death triggered the contest.