Labour have been defeated in the Hartlepool by-election, with the Conservatives winning the parliamentary seat for the first time since its creation in the 1970s.
Hartlepool was one of the seats which remained part of Labour’s ‘red wall’ that was significantly dismantled in the 2019 general election, though Conservative candidate Jill Mortimer has now won the seat.
Jim Mortimer received 15,529 votes, winning by a majority of 6,940. Labour’s candidate Paul Williams received 8,589 votes.
The by-election, along with the local elections, has been one of the first chances for voters to have their say at the polls since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership of the Labour Party. The result, while only affecting one constituency, will be seen as a major blow to the Labour Party and Starmer’s leadership.
Labour’s majority in the constituency had been falling at recent elections, but Starmer will still no doubt face difficult questions about the loss of a once Labour-stronghold.
Elsewhere, results are starting to be announced from the English Local Elections, with Labour having already made a number of losses in the early results. More results from the elections, plus results from the Welsh Senedd election, Scottish Parliament election, Police and Crime Commissioner elections and Mayoral elections are expected over Friday and through the weekend.