The constituency of Hartlepool in north-east England has long been considered a stronghold of the Social Democratic Labor Party. Now the Conservatives there have won the election. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pleased.
In the elections in Great Britain, the Conservatives scored a first important victory: In the constituency of Hartlepool in north-east England, traditionally dominated by the left Labor Party, Jill Mortimer was the first Conservative candidate to win the parliamentary mandate, according to the official election results on Friday.
Mortimer received 15,529 votes, almost twice as many as their Labor counterpart Paul Williams (8,589 votes). The outcome of the regional elections in Scotland, where the results are expected on Saturday, is considered to be decisive for the future of Great Britain.
“It is a really historic result and an important day,” said the newly elected MP Mortimer. The Labor Party took its victory in the constituency for too long for granted.
The entire region has long been considered a stronghold of the Labor Party. The previous MP resigned after allegations of sexual assault. Both parties knew about the special importance of this by-election, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had personally campaigned in Hartlepool on Monday.
Hartlepool in the north-east of England: In front of the building where the votes were counted, a nine-meter-tall inflatable figure of Boris Johnson was placed. (Source: Owen Humphreys / PA Wire / dpa)
Accordingly, Johnson has described the results of the regional elections in Great Britain so far as “very encouraging”. They showed that his administration was focused on people’s priorities and getting out of the pandemic as soon as possible, Johnson said in the West Midlands on Friday.
Pressure on opposition leaders is growing
The result should, however, increase the pressure on opposition leader Keir Starmer. When he was elected party chairman a year ago, he had promised to rebuild Labor and reconnect with traditional voters.
“We cannot hide the fact that this is a staggering result for Labor,” Labor MP Steve Reed told the BBC. It shows that the party has not changed quickly enough.
Decisive regional choice in Scotland
However, the focus of attention after the elections in Great Britain on Thursday are the Scots, whose independence supporters around Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon are hoping for a clear victory. In this way you want to push through a new independence referendum.
Should their Scottish National Party (SNP) and its allies win a majority in parliament, Johnson would have “no more moral justification” to stand in the way of a new referendum, said Sturgeon.
No clear trend can be seen in Scotland yet
After counting the votes in two of 73 electoral districts, however, no clear trend was discernible here early on Friday afternoon. The Liberal Democrats were able to secure their mandate on the Orkney Islands, the Scottish National Party SNP asserted itself in an electoral district in Aberdeen.
While the final result is not expected until Saturday, the results in some contested constituencies could already give an indication on Friday whether the SNP of Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon has achieved an absolute majority.