2019 election

Tories win Hartlepool, throwing Starmer’s leadership into crisis

The Tories have taken Hartlepool on a remarkable 16 per cent swing from Labour. The Tories saw the biggest increase — 23 per cent — in a governing party’s share of the vote in a by-election in the post-war era. Labour has been trounced in a seat that has been theirs since its creation in 1974. Labour’s defeat shows that Keir Starmer is nowhere near stopping the party’s bleeding in the red wall. It suggests that the 2019 election was not a freak result driven by voters’ desire to get Brexit done and their fear of Jeremy Corbyn but rather part of a realignment of English politics — and that