RECAP: Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Hartlepool after Conservative Jill Mortimer becomes town's new MP
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has come to Hartlepool to celebrate the victory of Jill Mortimer as the town’s new Conservative MP.
The Conservative candidate received nearly 7,000 votes to secure a resounding victory just after 7am on Friday, May 7.
Her election as the town’s MP breaks Labour’s 57-year Parliamentary stranglehold on the town.
Prime Minister Mr Johnson paid a visit to Hartlepool on Friday afternoon to meet with Mrs Mortimer and congratulate her on winning the election.
Meanwhile Conservative candidate Steve Turner has been elected as the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for the Cleveland Police Force area after receiving 74,023 votes – more than 50% of the total valid first preference votes cast.
Keep logging on here for constant updates, reaction and analysis.
Last updated: Friday, 07 May, 2021, 01:59
- Hartlepool voters have taken part in four elections on May 6
- They have voted for a new MP, crime commissioner, Tees Valley Mayor and 36 borough councillors
- Jill Mortimer is Hartlepool’s new MP after winning by nearly 7,000 votes
- We will be with you up until and beyond the result with reaction and analysis
10pm: Polls close
The 57 polling stations across Hartlepool have closed.
Votes for all four elections - to choose a new MP, police and crime commissioner, Tees Valley mayor and 36 Hartlepool borough councillors - will now be taken to the Mill House Leisure Centre to be verified.
This means voters’ personal details need to be checked before counting can begin.
Remember, however, that it is only the by-election votes which will be counted this evening.
It’s still going to be a long night.
10.15pm: The waiting game
10.25pm: What the bookies say
Bookmaker William Hill had Jill Mortimer as 1/10 favourite to become the town’s first Conservative MP for 57 years.
Dr Paul Williams was second favourite at 6/1 with Northern Independence Party candidate Thelma Walker third favourite at 100/1.
The remaining 13 candidates were 200/1 bar.
10.30pm: What the favourites say
Despite William Hill’s verdict, a Tory source said it was “looking tough in Hartlepool” as “Labour have flooded the area with activists”.
Conservative staff had been encouraged to use spare time on Thursday evening to make calls for the candidate Jill Mortimer.
The source said there was a “mixed picture in elections across the country” and suggested Labour had “done really well on their expectation management”.
10.45pm: Who are the 16 candidates?
Click on the links above to see why they felt Mail readers should vote for them
11.05pm: No time to be Mill-ing around
11.17pm: Who’s leading the way?
Meet Gino the cockapoo as he ponders who to vote for earlier on Thursday. We’ve more pictures of Hartlepool voters - and their dogs - here.
11.33pm: Last time out
Here’s a reminder of the outcome in Hartlepool at the last General Election in 2019.
Mike Hill (Labour) 15,464;
Stefan Houghton (Conservative) 11,869;
Richard Tice (The Brexit Party) 10,603;
Andy Hagon (Liberal Democrats) 1,696;
Joe Bousfield (Independent) 911;
Kevin Cranney (Socialist Labour) 494.
Labour triumphed by 3,595 votes.
11.45pm: “It’s going to be tough” says top Tory
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said it would be “remarkable” if the Conservatives have won the Hartlepool by-election.
The Cabinet minister told Sky News: “It is exceptionally rare for governments to win by-elections off the opposition – it is even rare for governments to hold their own seats in by-elections.
“So the idea that the Conservatives after 11 years in power would be able to win a seat that has been held by the Labour Party for 40 or 50 years is remarkable.
“It is going to be very tough, we will have to see what happens later in the evening.
“But if it is even close, I would say that is a really serious indictment of Keir Starmer.”
11.48pm: All the ballots are now in
Hartlepool Borough Council managing director Denise McGuckin has just announced that all the ballots are now in.
11.59pm: A quick video clip inside the counting area courtesy of the Mail’s Mark Payne
12.20am: The Liberal Democrat view
Liberal Democrat candidate is among the would-be MPs at the count. Party spokesman Lord Dick Newbury said: “We think we have fought a good fight and we’re looking forward to making gains in local council seats across the region and to have a positive night.”
1am: “I think it is going to be close"
Reform UK candidate John Prescott has told Mail reporter Mark Payne: “I think it is going to be close between the main two parties.
“With us being a new party, the timing of the election hasn’t been particularly fantastic for us. But we’ll see.”
1.15am: Meet Hartlepool United’s new right winger
To try to keep you entertained throughout the evening - and perhaps even the morning - we thought we would look back at some of the more memorable pictures taken during the by-election campaign. Here’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Hartlepool United’s Victoria Park ground.
1.57am: Brew’s company
Our next campaign memory features Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer enjoying a pint of Camerons beer with candidate Paul Williams following a trip to the Hartlepool brewery.