The Conservative party are on course to take Hartlepool from Labour in this week’s crunch by-election, according to a new poll.
Jill Mortimer, the Conservative candidate, polled 50 per cent in a survey carried out by Survation on behalf of GMB, while Labour’s Paul Williams is on just 33 per cent.
The polling, carried out by Survation on behalf of Good Morning Britain, is based on phone-conversations with 517 people aged 18 and over in Hartlepool.
What did the polling find?
Based on conversations had with Hartlepool residents between 23 April and 29 April, the poll finds that Labour’s support has diminished significantly in Hartlepool.
The changes in support suggest that some Labour voters are opting for smaller party and independent candidates, as the support they have lost has not gone to the Conservatives.
It’s always worth noting that polling is far from conclusive, and some have noted that a telephone poll which relies on people answering a landline number is more likely to skew toward older, Conservative supporters.
Here are the results of the poll:
Jill Mortimer, Conservative – 50% (+1) Paul Williams, Labour – 33% (-9) Thelma Walker, Northern Independence Party (Independent) – 6% (+4) Samantha Lee, Independent – 6% (+6) Rosie Featherstone, Green – 3% (+2) Andy Hagon, Liberal Democrats – 1% (-) John Prescott, Reform UK – 1% (-)
What would these results mean?
If these results bear out on Thursday it will be the most significant political upset in decades.
The last constituency polling gave the Tories a comfortable lead, but that has now grown to 17 points – a seemingly unsurmountable challenge for Labour.
The change seems to have been driven by support falling away from Labour, rather than increasingly significantly for the Conservatives.
The last poll put Labour on 42 per cent, meaning they have seen a 9 per cent drop in support in less than a month, according to this poll.
With just a couple of days until election day, this polling will give Labour major cause for concern, as it seems unlikely that a 13 point deficit could be made up.
The poll will provide some encouragement for the fledgling Northern Independence Party, which has remains in third place according to the poll, despite having been established only a couple of months before the by-election was called and not being an officially registered political party.
Local independent candidate Samantha Lee will also be encouraged by her level of support.
Candidates who receive more than 5 per cent of the vote will receive their deposit back from the Electoral Commission, seen as a mark of success for any fledgling party or independent candidate.
But for Labour, which has held the seat for decades, it’s hard to state how catastrophic this result would be if born out on Thursday.
It would be the largest majority overturned by an incumbent government in a by-election and one of the biggest by-election swings in modern political history.