UK's Conservative Party strikes early blows in elections

07 Mai, 2021, 15:50 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Ballots for the local elections are counted at Mill House Leisure Centre in Hartlepool Britain

They-and Labour right wingers-are touting it as proof that Labour has lost the support of working class people because it is too left wing.

"I'm also immensely proud to be the first Conservative MP in Hartlepool for 57 years".

A survey conducted by the polling firm Survation for ITV's Good Morning Britain has shown that the Tory candidate in Hartlepool, Jill Mortimer, has jumped to a 50 to 33 lead over Labour party candidate Paul Williams in Thursday's by-election.

Appearing on the same programme, John McDonnell, who was shadow chancellor under Corbyn accused Starmer of sending candidates into Thursday's elections "almost naked" in reference to the party being "almost policy-less" under Starmer.

Managing to present itself as the party of change despite having led the United Kingdom for 11 years, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservatives extended their grip on parts of the country that were Labour strongholds for decades, if not a century.

Both Johnson and Starmer made three visits to the town in recent weeks in a sign of the importance the by-election represents to their parties.

Many former Labour voters who backed the Brexit party two years ago completed their political journey and voted Tory.

"If it's close, that's a really serious indictment of Keir Starmer".

Steve Reed, shadow communities secretary and a Starmer loyalist, said: "This was a shattering result for Labour. It tells us the pace of change in the Labour party has not been fast enough".

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About 48m people were eligible to vote across England, Scotland and Wales, with about 5,000 positions up for grabs.

The Hartlepool result continues a trend set by Johnson in the 2019 general election when he struck directly at Labour's heartlands, the so-called Red Wall areas of northern and central England, to win a commanding majority in parliament.

The outcome suggests Johnson has enjoyed a "vaccine bounce" even while Britain has suffered one of the world's worst death tolls from Covid-19.

The "Super Thursday" regional and local elections could reshape the United Kingdom as pro-independence forces in Scotland bid to break away.

Labour's struggles in Scotland were also expected to be laid bare, with Nicola Sturgeon's Scottish National party forecast to retain power.

Sturgeon is expected to use a victory to claim a mandate for a second independence referendum, although Johnson has been adamant that Westminster would refuse to grant a plebiscite on splitting the UK.

But early results from England on Friday showed that the Conservatives had won the parliamentary seat of Hartlepool in the north of the country, a deep blow to the opposition Labour Party and its leader Keir Starmer.

Voters in Wales were voting for their national representatives in the Senedd, with Mark Drakeford hoping to maintain Labour's grip - although he could be forced to forge a new coalition to remain as first minister.

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