WHILE it was a very good night for the Conservative party in Cumbria and nationally, the political composition of Westmorland and Lonsdale remains the same.

This is probably one of the untold stories of this rare Christmas election - did we see the re-emergence of one Timothy James Farron as a local MP?

He is now a general election winner here five times on the bounce and by the time the next one rolls around he will be knocking on the door of 20 years as this area’s member of parliament.

Despite a landslide night for the Tories nationally and with every constituency surrounding us voting blue, it’s clear evidence of his durability.

The loyalty of his ground force is there for all to see in the figures.

Turnout up, vote share up and his majority increased - not by vast amounts but certainly back into the kind of territory where he will feel more comfortable.

In the space of two years, he has gone from hanging off the cliff by his fingertips to pulling himself to safety. It is a reversal of fortunes that has not come by accident or without hard graft.

He is only too well aware that he skated very closely to losing this Liberal stronghold in 2017.

He came within 777 votes of being toppled and it was a major lesson learned.

This time around, there was a noticeable change in emphasis in his campaign. It helped that he no longer had the distraction of being the national party leader where you have to be everywhere at once.

Compared to recent years, he ran a comparably low-key campaign - blitzing letter boxes like never before but cutting back on the endless media statements and

dialling down on some of the headline-grabbing rhetoric that we have all heard too much of in national politics this year.

In short, he reconnected with voters away from the cameras.

One of the stories of this election is that Tim ‘the national politician’ returned to being ‘Tim the local politician’ again.

Dare we say a bit of humility crept back in and the strategy clearly paid off.

His announcement this week that he has no interest in another tilt at the leadership and his unease with the policy of ‘cancelling Article 50’, really does tell its own story.