Owen Jones confronted by Brexiteer – ‘Labour chose a Remain candidate in a 69% Leave seat’

Keir Starmer grilled by host over 'tough contest' in Hartlepool

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The left-wing commentator branded the survey, which puts the Tories on 50 percent with Labour trailing behind on 33 percent, “diabolical”. Mr Jones fumed that Labour is failing to win back voters who switched to the Brexit Party in the 2019 general election.

The activist tweeted: “This is just diabolical.

“Labour won 52.5% of the vote in Hartlepool in 2017.

“They won nearly 5 points more than the result below in 2019.

“Labour isn’t just failing to win back 2017 Labour voters who voted for the Brexit Party in 2019 – it’s bleeding support to left-wing parties.”

But Brexiteer Martin Daubney hit back at Mr Jones, pointing out that Labour picked an arch-Remainer for its candidate despite Hartlepool backing Brexit by 69.6 percent in the 2016 referendum.

Mr Daubney said: “Perhaps that’s because Starmer, who did his best to reverse Brexit, chose a Remain candidate in a 69% Leave seat.

“So all the Brexit Party vote has swung Tory.

“Totally predictable & won’t change until you lot stop treating the white working classes as thick racists.”

Arch-Remainer Dr Paul Williams is standing for Labour in the constituency in its heartlands, while Jill Mortimer is the Tories’ candidate.

Ahead of Thursday’s vote, the Survation poll for ITV’s Good Morning Britain put the Conservatives on 50 percent – 17 points ahead of Labour in a seat it has held since it was created in 1974.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer insisted the party is “fighting for every vote” in the Hartlepool by-election.

Sir Keir, who has visited the constituency three times in the course of the by-election, said he hopes Labour will not lose another seat in its so-called “red wall”.

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But he admitted the party has a “mountain to climb” after its defeat under Mr Corbyn in the 2019 general election.

Sir Keir told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I hope we won’t lose Hartlepool. We are fighting for every vote there. I know that every vote has to be earned.

“I said on the day that I was elected 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.”

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson said during a visit to Hartlepool on Monday that the Tories face a “tough fight” to win the by-election.

Survation interviewed 517 Hartlepool residents aged 18 and over by telephone between April 23 and 29.

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