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Hartlepool by-election: inside the new northern Conservatism

By Ryan Swift, PhD Researcher in Politics, University of Leeds
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The Conservative party’s victory in the Hartlepool by-election is the latest development in a political realignment that has been bubbling under the surface for more than a decade.

This is only the fifth time that a governing party has taken a seat in a by-election since the end of the second world war. And the win was resounding – a majority of 6,940 and a 16% swing away from Labour.

The results of an individual by-election should not be overstated. Turnout is much lower than at a general…

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