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Labour’s crumbling heartlands

Away from the biggest cities, the north can no longer be relied on to deliver landslide Labour victories—or even narrow ones

By Helen Pidd   June 2017

Turning the Tees Valley blue: Ben Houchen

It was on the badminton court at Thornaby leisure centre on the morning after the local elections that the full extent of the Labour Party’s problems were laid bare. Most media organisations hadn’t bothered to send a journalist to Teesside to cover the count of the Tees Valley mayoral election. There are no direct trains from London, after all, and everyone assumed that Labour had it in the bag. Like it always did.

I was at my local count in Manchester waiting…

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