Hartlepool has been held by Labour since the 1960s. It is in the former Labour heartland of the North of England. It has been speculated that the COnservatives might pick it up in the by-election, but they did more than that,. They crushed Labour.
They got 52% of the vote to 29% for Labour in a seat not held by them for over 60 years.
In the wider elections, the results to date for England Councils are Conservatives gain 54 seats, Labour loses 56 (gaining control of 4 Councils).