The conservative party suffered a major setback in the partial local elections on Thursday, May 5. The results are ” mixed ” and ” tough for our party, Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi told the BBC. ” We are not complacent “, he added.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also acknowledged that his Conservative Party has ” had a rough night in parts of the country ”, during which 22% of its municipal councilors who were running for re-election lost their seats. The Labor Party but also the Liberal Democrats and the Greens took advantage of voter discontent to increase their local presence.
Local elections in the United Kingdom, “The situation is very delicate for Boris Johnson”
The Tories lost three of their historic London strongholds, Barnet, Wandsworth and Westminster, as well as Southampton. Each time at the expense of Labour. ” Westminster and Wandsworth hold a special place in British political folklore and their passing into Labor hands is extremely symbolic says Anand Menon, professor of political science at King’s College London and director of the UK in a Changing Europe think tank.
Boris Johnson bears a major responsibility for the decline of his people. For six months, and the multiplication of revelations on these “Partygate” aperitifs and evenings, organized during the confinements in his official residence, the Prime Minister has been in the hot seat. This election was therefore seen as a passing test to determine the influence of this scandal on the perception of voters, a disastrous performance which could encourage its own deputies to overthrow it. Quite annoyed, the leader of the Tories on Sunderland City Council directly blamed Boris Johnson: “ The best way to revive the Conservative Party is to change its leader “, because of the blow to the ” party reputation “.
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Voters also expressed their dissatisfaction with the government’s economic policy. Tory supporters believe Boris Johnson has raised taxes too high, while the majority of Britons believe he has not shielded them enough from the effects of inflation, which hit 7% in March. The Bank of England estimates that it could reach 10% this fall.
Despite the general weakening of the Tories, Labor made only relatively modest progress outside London. Across the country, he won “only” 10% more advisers. ” Its result is between those of 2018, when it had a significant number of votes, and its collapse of 2019, continues Anand Menon. ” Labor is in the process of recovering part of its delay. It is therefore neither a great nor a catastrophic result for its leader Keir Starmer. »
In the UK, Keir Starmer stays the course at the Labor center
The most significant progress indeed goes to the Liberal Democrats and the Greens. If the latter have doubled the number of their elected representatives, the Liberal Democrats have won 28% more elected representatives. But the national ambitions of these two parties remain limited due to the limitation of their electorate to large cities with a high proportion of graduates and students. This will not allow them to win a significant number of seats in the House of Commons, during the general election scheduled for 2024.
This sanction vote above all exposes Keir Starmer’s difficulty in attracting those dissatisfied with the policies and actions of Boris Johnson. Good news for him, who was under the threat of revolt from his deputies.