UK

Election results: WE’RE the true Workers’ Party, say Tories

WE’RE the true Workers’ Party, say Tories: Now senior MPs claim the Left’s mantle after extraordinary success at the polls

  • Senior Tories last night called Conservatives ‘true workers’ party’ after a series of astonishing electoral gains
  • Ben Houchen went on to secure a second term as the Tees Valley mayor and grabbed 73 per cent of the vote 
  • Boris Johnson hailed result as ‘mandate for delivery’ on his pledge to ‘level up’ opportunity across the country

Advertisement

Senior Tories called the Conservatives the ‘true workers’ party’ last night after a series of astonishing electoral gains.

Jill Mortimer took Labour’s Hartlepool stronghold – securing only the fifth by-election win by a governing party since the Second World War.

In a second stunning Tory victory in the North East, Ben Houchen secured a second term as Tees Valley mayor. He grabbed 73 per cent of the vote – up from 39.5 per cent four years ago.

The prospects for a hat-trick of successes were rising last night, as the party made gains across the West Midlands, where Andy Street is also bidding for a second term as mayor.

Boris Johnson, who made a whirlwind visit to Hartlepool yesterday, hailed the result as a ‘mandate for delivery’ on his pledge to ‘level up’ opportunity across the country. In a sign of the town’s remarkable political transformation, well-wishers erected a 30ft inflatable of Mr Johnson outside the counting centre.

Senior Tories called the Conservatives the 'true workers' party' last night after a series of astonishing electoral gains. Jill Mortimer (above with the PM) took Labour's Hartlepool stronghold – securing only the fifth by-election win by a governing party since the Second World War

Senior Tories called the Conservatives the ‘true workers’ party’ last night after a series of astonishing electoral gains. Jill Mortimer (above with the PM) took Labour’s Hartlepool stronghold – securing only the fifth by-election win by a governing party since the Second World War

In a second stunning Tory victory in the North East, Ben Houchen (pictured with his wife) secured a second term as Tees Valley mayor. He grabbed 73 per cent of the vote – up from 39.5 per cent four years ago

In a second stunning Tory victory in the North East, Ben Houchen (pictured with his wife) secured a second term as Tees Valley mayor. He grabbed 73 per cent of the vote – up from 39.5 per cent four years ago

The victory by 15,529 to 8,589 votes in Hartlepool shows that Boris Johnson's realignment of the British political landscape is continuing, with more of the so-called Red Wall collapsing

The victory by 15,529 to 8,589 votes in Hartlepool shows that Boris Johnson’s realignment of the British political landscape is continuing, with more of the so-called Red Wall collapsing

On his arrival, the Prime Minister gestured at the inflatable and joked: ‘Who’s that fat bloke over there?’ In the biggest round of local elections for decades, the Conservatives defied the odds to make gains in bellwether seats and traditional Labour areas.

Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Dudley and Nuneaton and Bedworth all fell to the Tories, having previously been under no overall control.

They also gained Harlow in Essex directly from Labour after seven seats changed hands. Harlow MP Robert Halfon said the result was a sign that the Tories had now usurped Labour as the ‘true workers’ party’.

The former Tory minister added: ‘There has been lots of talk about a vaccine bounce, but it is not just stick a needle in someone’s arm and they will vote Tory – it’s much more than that.

‘Labour has become very metropolitan and its whole campaign has just been negative mudslinging. We have been focusing on people’s priorities like the NHS, skills, keeping fuel duty down and recruiting more police. We are the true workers’ party now. And the Boris brand works – he is liked by people in a way that Labour do not understand.’

Fellow Tory MP Neil O’Brien, who was appointed last week as the Prime Minister’s ‘levelling up’ adviser, said there was a chance to ‘use this incredible moment to change the country for the better’.

Mr Houchen, who has become a galvanising figure for Tory support across the North East, said his thumping win in what was once a rock-solid Labour area was down to a record of delivery following ‘years and years of neglect’. He added: ‘Governments of both colours have failed to invest in this region and this Government under Boris Johnson has invested hugely – people are seeing tangible benefits on the ground.’

Simon Clarke, Tory MP for Middlesbrough South, said political allegiances that saw some communities vote Labour for decades were now shifting.

‘People in the North East have stopped voting Labour ‘because my parents did’,’ he said.

‘They are looking at the two parties clear-sightedly, on the basis of what they offer – and they aren’t going to go back for being taken for granted.’ In Hartlepool, Mrs Mortimer gained 15,529 votes – more than half the total cast.

She said the result – overturning a Labour majority of more than 3,500 at the 2019 general election – was ‘truly historic’. The Tory surge also saw the party pick up a smattering of seats in some of the most solidly Labour areas. In Sheffield, the party won its first seat on the city council since 2008. In nearby north Derbyshire, the Tories won for the first time in Clay Cross.

Elections expert Professor Sir John Curtice said early results showed ‘Leave and working-class areas are moving more strongly to the Conservatives than are Remain and more middle class places’.

The Prime Minister (pictured with Jill Mortimer) hailed the result as a 'mandate for delivery' on his pledge to 'level up' opportunity across the country

The Prime Minister (pictured with Jill Mortimer) hailed the result as a ‘mandate for delivery’ on his pledge to ‘level up’ opportunity across the country

Pictured: Boris Johnson speaks with crowds in Hartlepool after the Tories saw a series of astonishing electoral gains

Pictured: Boris Johnson speaks with crowds in Hartlepool after the Tories saw a series of astonishing electoral gains

In the biggest round of local elections for decades, the Conservatives defied the odds to make gains in bellwether seats and traditional Labour areas. Pictured: Labour leader Keir Starmer arrives back to his hime in London on May 7

In the biggest round of local elections for decades, the Conservatives defied the odds to make gains in bellwether seats and traditional Labour areas. Pictured: Labour leader Keir Starmer arrives back to his hime in London on May 7

Advertisement


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button