The Conservative Party looks set to storm to victory in council elections across England after securing a historic win in Harlepool.

The Tories snatched the northern seat from Labour first the first time since the constituency was created in 1974.

It marks a shattering blow in the Opposition’s once impregnable “red wall”, with party members now questioning the future of leader Sir Keir Starmer.

But as Labour is consumed by infighting, the Conservatives’ continued election success is being likened by critics to Stockholm Syndrome.

The psychological response occurs when hostages or abuse victims bond with their captors or abusers.

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So, essentially, social media users are comparing local election voters to hostages, and the Conservative Party to their captors.

The theme was picked up on Twitter, with the term soon becoming one of the platform’s top trends on Friday.

Here’s a look at just some of the tweets from the scores of would-be psychoanalysts:

Even TV personality, Gillian McKeith got involved:

But numerous users condemned those using the term “Stockholm Syndrome” as patronising to the residents of Hartlepool and other voters.

Some noted the irony in light of Labour’s support lockdown restrictions, since Stockholm Syndrome is most commonly associated with people trapped by captors.

While others hit out at the arrogance and naivity of anyone dismissing people’s choice to vote for whom they please:

Elsewhere, One Direction fans were left confused at the trend, believing it to be related to the band’s song of the same name.

If we’ve learned anything from this trend, it’s that politics is just as divided as ever and that One Direction’s Stockholm Syndrome is a banger.

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