IF YOU’RE JUST WAKING UP- the latest from the wall

The Tories have won the Hartlepool by election and have won it handsomely. Majority of nearly 7000. First time the seat has been won by a Tory since 1959. Only third time a govt has won a by election off an opp since 1982
The Tories have done this by absorbing much of the Brexit Party vote and probably have a few Labour switchers as well. 16% swing from Conservative to Labour. Devastating for the party.
Party will day that this seat was Sui generis. But it’s not. Because there are 37 other seats where the Brexit Party vote is larger than the Labour majority. If Starmer can’t do something about that or gather new votes from somewhere they may be in real jeopardy.
But if it were just Hartlepool Labour could ride it out. But that isn’t going to be all today. Already overnight we’ve had some really terrible council performances for the party (I’m assuming you weren’t up as I live tweeted so here’s a summary).
Nuneaton and Bedworth. Was a Labour council as recently as 2018. Went to NOC. Now back in Tory hands. 10 seat swap from Labour to Tory.
The worrying thing for Labour is again, the Tories did it in Nuneaton as elsewhere by a coalescence of the right vote- UKIP absorbed by the Tories and dominate in seat after seat. https://twitter.com/britainelects/status/1390468100869529600
Same thing in Harlow. Until this morning a Labour council. Then seven Tory gains, seven labour losses and now it’s a Conservative one. First time it’s been Tory controlled since 2004.
Similar situation in Northumberland where the Conservatives have taken control of the council from NOC. Labour/Conservative conversions higher than it looks but net obscured by Tory losses to the greens. Keep your eye on the greens throughout the day btw-good performance so far.
In the meantime, you shouldn’t be seeing these boards. Governing parties don’t normally gain seats or councils 11 years in. That you are indicates our politics isn’t normal and isn’t getting back to normal- which is exactly what Labour feared.
More on Breakfast shortly, tune in, BBC1
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