UK ruling party scores crushing win in opposition stronghold

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London

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives scored a stunning election victory in an opposition stronghold Friday, after Britain held its first major ballot box test since Brexit and the coronavirus crisis.

The “Super Thursday” regional and local elections could reshape the UK as pro-independence forces in Scotland, where voting for the devolved parliament was also held, bid to break away. Results in Scotland are due on Saturday.

But early results from England on Friday showed that the Conservatives had won a landslide in the parliamentary seat of Hartlepool in the northeast, a bitter blow to the opposition Labour Party and its leader Keir Starmer.

Hartlepool, a rust-belt constituency deep in traditional Labour heartlands which has never voted Conservative since its creation in 1974, saw a 16 percent swing to the Tories.—Agencies