Labour 'fighting for every vote' as Hartlepool by-election poll gives Tories 17-point lead
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has insisted the party is “fighting for every vote” in the Hartlepool by-election as an opinion poll showed the Tories have opening up a double-digit lead in the constituency.
Ahead of May 6’s vote, the Survation poll for ITV’s Good Morning Britain put the Conservatives on 50% – 17 points ahead of Labour in a seat which has remained red for 57 years in its current and previous guise.
Sir Keir, who has visited the constituency three times in the course of the by-election, said he hoped Labour would not lose another seat in the party’s so-called “red wall”.
Yet he acknowledged the party still had a “mountain to climb” after the devastating defeat under Jeremy Corbyn in the 2019 General Election.
“I hope we won’t lose Hartlepool. We are fighting for every vote there. I know that every vote has to be earned,” Sir Keir told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
“I said on the day that I was elected (Labour leader) that it was a mountain to climb. It is, we are climbing it and I’ve got a burning desire to build a better future for our country.
“I don’t think anybody realistically thought that it was possible to turn the Labour Party round from the worst general election result since 1935 to a position to win the next general election within a period of one year.
“It was always going to take longer than that.”