The Conservatives have won the Hartlepool by-election by 15,529 vote to Labours 8,859. It is the first time since the seat has been won since it was created in 1974. Jill Mortimer, the Tory candidate has overturned a labour majority of 3,600 to soo n become the first Conservative MP for the constituency.
Jill Mortimer, is a councillor for North Yorkshire and a farmer, who is based in Thirsk. Mortimer will soon take her place as an elected representative in the House of Commons when parliament is reconvened on the 11th May for the state opening.
In her acceptance speech she said “Labour has taken the people of Hartlepool for granted for too long — I heard this time and time again on the doorstep. People had enough. Now and now through this result, the people have spoken, and they’ve made it clear, it’s time for change.”
Boris Johnson visited the northern seaside constituency three times during the campaign, as the Tories sensed the opportunity to make further inroads into traditionally Labour territory. It is the only the third time in history that a government have won a by-election overturning the sitting party.
Prior to the election Boris Johnson tweeted to say ‘Jill Mortimer has a fantastic plan for Hartlepool. She’ll work with me to deliver more quality local jobs, extra investment & more police on the beat. ‘
Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer, had been warned prior to the election that if he didn’t make gains in the ‘Red Wall’ that he should ‘consider his position’. According to The Times a Labour source said “We’ve said all along the North East and the Midlands would be difficult. We also said the places declaring Thursday would be particularly difficult.”
“But the message from voters is clear and we have heard it. Labour has not yet changed nearly enough for voters to place their trust in us.
“People don’t want to hear excuses. Keir has said he will take responsibility for these results – and he will take responsibility for fixing it and changing the Labour Party for the better.”
The Hartlepool by-election was triggered by the resignation of Mike Hill, the town’s former Labour MP, following allegations of sexual assault. Hill denies all the claims.