In the end, it wasn’t even close in Hartlepool. The Tories now have a majority of 6940 in a place that used to be the embodiment of what it was to be a solid Labour safe seat. The crushing defeat dished out by voters on Thursday is a disaster for Labour that completes the long, slow death of the New Labour modernisation project, a process that may yet kill the Union if Scottish voters conclude that England will never again vote in a non-Tory UK government, or at least not for the foreseeable future.