Tories punch a hole in Labour’s red wall

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Conservatives have won the Hartlepool by-election, turning the constituency blue for the first time since the constituency was formed in 1974.

In an historic defeat for Labour, Hartlepool voted for the Tory candidate Jill Mortimer by 15,529 votes to Labour’s 8,589.

A total of 143 council elections were held in England on Thursday, with around 5,000 seats up for grabs in local authorities ranging from shire county councils to metropolitan boroughs. 

Early results show the Conservatives have already taken two big councils from Labour: Harlow, in Essex and Nuneaton and Bedworth in Warwickshire.

The Conservatives have also taken control of Northumberland and have seen a Tory landslide in Redditch with all seats now blue.

Early indications show the Conservatives may also be on track to take Basildon.

Counting is now underway for all seats of the Welsh Parliament, seven of the 14 constituencies for the London Assembly, 46 of the 73 constituencies for the Scottish Parliament, 79 councils in England, three of the 39 elections for police and crime commissioners, and the election of various mayors.

It is expected the results from the 79 councils in England and 46 Scottish parliamentary constituencies counting will come in from noon.

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