Boris Johnson on brink of historic by-election win

Tuesday, May 4

Boris Johnson campaigning ahead of the 2021 Hartlepool by-election (Photo: Lindsey Parnaby /WPA Pool/Getty Images)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be buoyed by the latest poll showing his Conservative by-election candidate on 50 per cent.

Labour are on 33 per cent and are close to losing a seat they have held for the past 47 years.

The by-election, in the English north west constituency of Hartlepool, is to be held on Thursday.

In a personal boost to the Prime Minister, the analysis also showed that 51 per cent of the Hartlepool electorate viewed him favourably and 28 per cent unfavourably, giving him a net favourability rating of +23.

In contrast, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had a net rating of -18.

Asked if he would step down if Labour had a bad night, Mr Starmer said “I never thought … that the Labour Party could go from the devastating defeat in 2019, the worst since 1935, and mend all that in about a year or a year-and-a-half.” 

Speaking on Monday night to thousands of Conservative activists across the country, Boris Johnson stressed it was still a “massive challenge” for his party to win Hartlepool.

“It’s important for people to understand this is not a seat that Conservatives have ever held,” Mr Johnson said. “This is the stamping ground of Peter Mandelson.”

Labour fought off a strong Conservative and Brexit Party challenge at the 2019 general election, and their majority was reduced to just under 3,600, down from 7,650 in 2017.