Mr Ray, 47, was on hand to host Good Morning Britain with Susanna Reid, 50, and amongst the topics of conversation was the local elections in England, which will take place on Thursday May 6, 2021. The pair spoke with Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer, 58, to speak about the by-election happening in Hartlepool and how the ITV show had access to a poll that explained the Conservatives had the lead by 50 percent. Discussing the matter with journalists Andrew Pierce, 60, and Kevin Maguire, 60, the presenter issued concern over the opposition’s standing in the race.
With it looking likely Labour could lose their Hartlepool seat for the first time in years later this week, Mr Ray wanted to understand the impact of the loss.
The broadcaster asked his guests: “How big a loss is it for Labour? 11 years since they were in power and they’re all over the place at the moment.
“They’ve had two very different leaders. They’ve tried both types of leaders and if they lose Hartlepool, how do they pull it back?” he said, detailing a cruel blow to the opposition.
Maguire replied: “It will be only the fourth time since 1945 that a governing party has taken a seat from the opposition in a by-election.
“The Tories took Copeland in Cumbria when [Jeremy] Corbyn was Labour leader so there is a big Labour problem.”
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“It’s not just with Starmer or Corbyn, it goes further back,” Maguire added but voters will have to wait until Friday to see who gains the seat.
A poll carried out by Survation for the programme revealed the Conservative Party candidate Jill Mortimer has a 17-point lead in the race at 50 percent.
Labour’s candidate Dr Paul Williams only has 33 percent of the vote and it will be a cruel blow if they lost the seat they have held since 1964.
Speaking on the show, leader Starmer explained he had visited Hartlepool recently to hear what voters want from the person representing them.
This left Starmer with a massive task as he had to “rebuild the red wall” in Hartlepool to reconnect with former Labour voters.
However, the candidate running for the seat, Dr Williams, claims the opposition can still secure the highly contested seat.
“Obviously you prefer to be ahead in polls but actually it showed that of the 502 people they interviewed, 200 hadn’t yet decided [who to vote for] and that’s what is chiming with us on the doorstep,” he said.
“The issues are all there – the local hospital, jobs, crime – but people haven’t decided which candidate has the solutions.”
“I think what [the poll] has done for me is it’s made me want to double my efforts to get my message out there,” he told The Guardian.
Despite being in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, members of the public will still be able to vote in the local elections.
On polling day, proceedings will be as normal as possible, with social distancing rules adhered to at the highest degree.
The consequences of the global health crisis will have a huge impact of how people will vote, with 28 million people able to vote for about 4,650 positions of power.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.