Boris Johnson's Tories pick up seat in Hartlepool, punching hole in Labour's 'red wall' - Fox News
May 07, 2021 1 min, 45 secs
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party picked up a major victory on Friday, winning a seat in the northeast town of Hartlepool -- a seat held by the opposition Labour Party since it was formed and a brick in Labour’s now-crumbling "red wall.".

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to the media next to a large inflatable of him and flanked by Jill Mortimer, the winning Conservative Party candidate of the Hartlepool by-election on May 7, 2021.(AP Photo/Scott Heppell).

Since then, Corbyn was replaced by the more moderate Keir Starmer, who has sought to bring the party more to the center.

However, even after a year in which Johnson was widely criticized for his handling of the lockdowns, both by those who thought he didn’t go far enough and those who thought them too strict, and saw an economic downturn, the Conservatives still managed to clinch the seat in Hartlepool.

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer leaves his home in London on May 7, 2021, following the declaration that the Labour Party has lost the Hartlepool parliamentary election.

The Tory victory is likely to increase pressure on Starmer, and the Labour Party in general, which has seen its traditional working class support crater as it turned more radically left under Corbyn and has continued to be split by identity politics and "woke" issues --- popular among left-wing activists but unpopular with many of its voters.

Starmer’s lack of impact on the electorate was demonstrated in a TV moment this week in which a Sky News reporter stopped a voter in Hartlepool and pointed to the Labour leader, who was visiting the town, and asked if she knew who he was -- to which the woman said she didn’t.

"It’s Keir Starmer," the reporter said

Those in the "Blairite" wing of the party are likely to urge Starmer to keep going in distancing the party from the Corbynite left; Corbyn’s allies were already sharpening their knives -- noting that even Corbyn managed to hold the Hartlepool seat

Keir Starmer must think again about his strategy."

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