LONDON – Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party won a by-election in the northern English city of Hartlepool and stepped into the country’s working class sector, once associated with a rival Labor party.
According to the tally released on Friday morning, Jill Mortimer defeated Labor’s Paul Williams by nearly 1,000,000 votes, becoming the first conservative party to win the seat since 1974.
By-elections take place in Britain when seats in the House of Commons become vacant during a general election.
The victory will be seen as a barometer for the current situation in the country as the victory is slowly re-emerging after the coronavirus lockdown measure. Johnson’s initial response to the epidemic has been widely criticized, with more than 127,000 deaths reported, with Britain having one of the worst mortality rates in Europe and the world.
But Johnson is also at the forefront of successful vaccination campaigns, with at least one dose of the vaccine available to 0% of the country’s population. Political pundits have suggested that the prime minister may be enjoying a “bounce bounce”, but Hartlepool’s results will reflect the trend in the last general election in 201.
The result will be a major blow to Labor and its new middle leader, Kir Starr. Other elections this week for local council seats also look disappointing for the opposition.
“It’s not hidden from the fact that it’s a disastrous outcome for Labor,” Steve Reid, the shadow secretary of the workers, told BBC Radio on Friday.
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