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Hartlepool by-election: Sir Keir Starmer under ‘enormous pressure’ if Tories win constituency | Political news

Hartlepool has been in Labor for almost six decades.

But so did a handful of neighboring constituencies to the North East – Bishop Auckland, Blyth Valley, Darlington, Sedgefield, North West Durham – until Boris Johnson’s Brexit election wrecking ball smashed the ‘red wall. From Labor.

This week’s by-election will determine whether Hartlepool will also turn Tory. The poll of the past few days suggests this will be the case.

A man passes a mural in a Hartlepool street
Another brick should fall into the old red wall of Labor

One of the largest cities in the country backing Brexit, the Brexit Party won a quarter of the vote in this coastal city in the 2019 election, as support turned away from Labor.

But for the opposition losing a seat to the ruling party is almost unheard of: it has only happened twice (Copeland in 2017 and Mitcham & Morden 1982) in the past four decades.

Whatever the circumstances or the context, lose Hartlepool would be a huge psychological and political blow to Sir Keir StarmerAttempts to prove he’s the one who can rebuild Labor’s red wall and make the party serious contenders for Number 10.

Senior Labor officials who approached Hartlepool tell me that while they don’t expect the party to lose by the margins polled this week – a Survation phone poll gave the Tories a 17 point lead – they don’t think it’s realistic either. expect a Labor victory.

‘The Tories are sending out a message of change, telling people you’ve had a Labor MP forever, vote Tory if you want change, despite the existence of a Tory government it was still a legacy Labor seat, so this vote for change message is ringing, ”said a senior Labor official who knocked on the door.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer meets with locals at Seaton Carew in County Durham during a campaign day for the Hartlepool
Sir Keir Starmer on the election campaign in Hartlepool on March 30

Another Labor MP tells me that prospecting has been “difficult” and that the Conservatives have momentum in these areas.

“I think people …

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This notice was published: 2021-05-05 19:19:00