By John Stevens Deputy Political Editor For The Daily Mail
Published: 22:32 BST, 4 May 2021 | Updated: 23:01 BST, 4 May 2021
Keir Starmer has pleaded for more time to turn Labour's fortunes around after bombshell polls suggested the party is on course for disaster in elections tomorrow.
The Conservatives are set for a remarkable victory in the Hartlepool by-election, continuing Boris Johnson's demolition of the 'Red Wall', according to the latest polling.
One poll yesterday put Tory candidate Jill Mortimer on 50 per cent – giving her a thumping 17-point lead over Labour in a seat it has held since it was created in 1974.
Keir Starmer has pleaded for more time to turn Labour's fortunes around after the polls suggested the party is on course for disaster in the local elections on Thursday
A Tory win would be only the second time a ruling party has snatched a seat from the Opposition in a by-election in 38 years.
Labour's own canvassing data shows only 40 per cent of the party's previous supporters in Hartlepool have pledged to back it tomorrow, The Guardian reported last night. The figures come from 10,000 doors knocked during the campaign.
Separate polls suggested the Tories will also romp home in two key mayoral races in former Labour heartlands.
In the West Midlands, former John Lewis boss Andy Street is projected to beat