Labour set for huge election defeat in Hartlepool, internal polling suggests

Exclusive: Party’s own figures show only 40% of previous supporters pledge to back its candidate this time

Fewer than half of recent Labour voters in Hartlepool say they will back the party in Thursday’s crucial byelection, according to internal data based on the canvassing of more than 10,000 people, leading activists to fear a historic Conservative victory.

Labour insiders said polling from its ground campaign in the town showed only about 40% of the party’s previous supporters had pledged to vote for its candidate, Paul Williams.

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