Johnson’s party pulls off shock victory in opposition stronghold

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LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party scored a surprise win for a parliamentary seat in an opposition stronghold Friday.
The “Super Thursday” regional and local elections could reshape the United Kingdom as pro-independence forces in Scotland bid to break away. Results for the Scottish Parliament are due Saturday.
Early results from England on Friday showed that the Conservatives had won the parliamentary seat of Hartlepool in the north of the country, a deep blow to the opposition Labour Party and its leader Keir Starmer. Hartlepool is a rust-belt constituency deep in Labour’s northeastern heartland, and it has never voted Conservative since its creation in 1974.
The vote in the strongly pro-Brexit constituency was called alongside the local polls after its Labour incumbent quit over allegations of sexual harassment.
“It’s quite clear when we see the ballots land on the table today that we haven’t been able to catch enough of those numbers to get us over the line today,” Labour’s shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon told the BBC.
“That’s clearly very disappointing.”
Ahead of the official results, a giant inflatable Boris Johnson appeared outside the building where the vote count was taking place.