The Battle for Hartlepool: Is Labour Heading for Disaster?

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Published on 4 May 2021, 18:16
With a critical by-election looming there, I headed to Hartlepool in England's North East to find out if Labour are about to lose another crucial brick in the crumbling so-called 'Red Wall'. I meet with the party's candidate, candidates standing for the Northern Independence Party and Reform, the current and former leader of the council, Labour canvassers and voters on the ground to ask - why is a seat in which Labour won a crushing victory less than 4 years ago at risk of falling out of its hands, potentially providing Boris Johnson with a critical triumph?

It's a complex mix: younger voters leaving towns like this as politics polarises by age, poverty sitting side by side with economically secure retired homeowners, the Tories ploughing investment into their favoured communities, and Labour lacking any coherent vision. Can Labour ever rebuild an electoral coalition to secure power - or are we doomed to indefinite Tory rule?

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Videographer: Jack Barraclough / clip credit 27:39 - 27:36 - The Hartlepool Wombles
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