London, May 7
Voters in an Opposition stronghold turned en masse to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives, boosting his parliamentary majority on Friday despite a high Covid death toll, last year’s record economic slump and cronyism charges.
Conservative Jill Mortimer beat Labour’s candidate in Thursday’s ballot by 15,529 votes to 8,589 to take the parliamentary seat for Hartlepool, a victory once unthinkable in a northeast English port town that for decades backed UK’s main Opposition.
The overwhelming victory for an often-criticised governing party increases pressure on Labour leader Keir Starmer, who has struggled to revive his party’s fortunes since a disastrous national election in 2019.
Johnson celebrated by quickly visiting Hartlepool when he ascribed his party’s success to its policies of delivering Brexit and ploughing money into areas where voters felt neglected. — Reuters