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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Johnson's party wins UK bellwether election

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Johnson's party wins UK bellwether election
Johnson's party wins UK bellwether election

Britain's ruling Conservative Party won a new seat in parliament, sweeping aside the incumbent Labour Party with a victory in the northern English town of Hartlepool.

The win tightens its grip on traditional Labour-voting areas.

Conservative candidate Jill Mortimer beat the Labour candidate by 15,529 votes to 8,589 on Friday (May 7), securing what less than a decade ago would have been seen as an impossible feat of dislodging the main opposition Labour Party from one of its heartland seats.

The overwhelming victory, which gives Prime Minister Boris Johnson an even larger majority in parliament, increases pressure on Labour leader Keir Starmer, who has faced criticism for not fulfilling his pledge to revive the party's fortunes after a 2019 election disaster.

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 vote is one of dozens of elections that took place on Thursday (May 6).

The results of the other contests will come out over several days because COVID-19 restrictions have complicated the counts.

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