UK ruling party scores crushing win in opposition stronghold

LONDON (AFP) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives scored a stunning election victory in an opposition stronghold yesterday, after Britain held its first major ballot box test since Brexit and the coronavirus crisis.

The ‘Super Thursday’ regional and local elections could reshape the United Kingdom (UK) as pro-independence forces in Scotland, where voting for the devolved Parliament was also held, bid to break away.

Results in Scotland are due today.

But early results from England yesterday showed that the Conservatives had won a landslide in the Parliamentary seat of Hartlepool in the northeast, a bitter blow to the opposition Labour Party and its leader Keir Starmer.

Hartlepool, a rust-belt constituency deep in traditional Labour heartlands which has never voted Conservative since its creation in 1974, saw a 16 per cent swing to the Tories.

“It is a truly historic result and a momentous day,” said Hartlepool’s newly elected Conservative lawmaker Jill Mortimer. “Labour have taken people in Hartlepool for granted for too long.”