In a shocking end result, the Conservatives took the seat – which had been Labour-held because it was fashioned in 1974 – with a majority of 6,940.
Shadow communities secretary Steve Reed admitted it was an “completely shattering” end result as one other brick within the celebration’s as soon as impregnable “crimson wall” crumbled.
It provoked a livid response from the Labour left – sidelined since Sir Keir grew to become chief final 12 months – who stated the celebration should now change course.
Nonetheless, Mr Reed insisted they might double down on the extra centrist method taken over the previous 12 months.
“What this exhibits is that, though we’ve got began to vary because the cataclysm of the final common election, that change has clearly not gone far sufficient with a purpose to win again the belief of the voters,” he informed BBC Breakfast.
In a significant enhance for Boris Johnson, Conservative candidate Jill Mortimer gained 15,529 votes – greater than half the full forged – with Labour’s Dr Paul Williams, trailing on 8,589.
And early ends in council contests appeared to indicate voters deserting Labour, with the Tories seizing Redditch and Nuneaton and Bedworth councils within the Midlands, together with Harlow in Essex and Northumberland.
In her victory speech, Ms Mortimer stated the end result – overturning a Labour majority of greater than 3,500 on the 2019 common election – was “really historic”.
“Labour have taken folks in Hartlepool as a right for too lengthy. I heard this time and time once more on the doorstep,” she stated.
On the Labour left, former shadow dwelling secretary Diane Abbott – an in depth ally of former chief Jeremy Corbyn -said it had been a “crushing” defeat.
“Not potential accountable Jeremy Corbyn for this end result. Labour gained the seat twice beneath his management. Keir Starmer should suppose once more about his technique,” she tweeted.
Former shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon stated the celebration must “urgently change course”.
“We’re going backwards in areas we must be successful,” he tweeted.
“Labour’s management must urgently change course. It ought to begin by championing the favored insurance policies in our latest manifestos.”
The left-wing, grassroots Momentum group which backed Mr Corbyn, stated it was a “catastrophe”.
Co-chairman Andrew Scattergood stated: “Starmer’s technique of isolating the left and changing significant coverage with empty buzzwords has comprehensively failed.
“If he does not change course, not solely will he be out of a job – however the Labour Celebration could also be out of presidency eternally.”
The end result was partially on account of voters who backed the Brexit Celebration in 2019 – when it took 1 / 4 of the vote – switching to the Conservatives.
However worryingly for Labour it noticed its share of the vote fall, underlining the size of the duty dealing with Sir Keir if he’s to chart a path to No 10.
The celebration was braced for harder outcomes because the votes are counted on Friday and over the weekend within the English native elections.
Mr Reed denied Sir Keir’s management had been an issue and stated they might work “tirelessly” to rebuild belief within the celebration.
“I am very snug that we now have a pacesetter that the nation may see as a substitute prime minister – the issue is the Labour celebration itself,” he stated.
“We have now not but modified the Labour Celebration sufficient for folks to really feel in a position to exit and belief it with their and their kids’s futures.”
The Conservatives, in distinction had been jubilant, with co-chairman Amanda Milling saying they had been “delighted” voters had chosen to place their religion within the celebration.
“The work to repay that religion begins proper now, as we proceed with our agenda to degree up and construct again higher from the pandemic,” she stated.
Following the Hartlepool declaration, consideration will flip to outcomes elsewhere as counting takes place throughout England, Scotland and Wales within the largest check of political opinion exterior a common election.
Outcomes from the Holyrood election, the place the problem of Scottish independence was a foremost function within the marketing campaign, will come by way of in a while Friday and Saturday.
Scottish Nationwide Celebration chief Nicola Sturgeon’s push for a second independence referendum means the stakes are excessive within the contest.
The SNP is predicted to emerge once more as the biggest celebration within the Scottish Parliament after the election, but it surely desires to win an total majority of MSPs because it pushes for a second vote on splitting from the Union – one thing which polls counsel stays within the stability.
Outcomes of the elections, which additionally embody the Welsh Parliament, police and crime commissioners and English native authorities and mayors, are anticipated to proceed filtering by way of till Monday as counting will take longer than regular on account of coronavirus restrictions.
In Wales, Mark Drakeford hopes to keep up Labour’s grip on the Senedd – however he could discover himself compelled to forge a brand new coalition to remain as First Minister.