Labor dreams of Downing Street after a big victory in the local elections

Sarah Jane Colclough wins the award for work in Stoke-on-Trent.Image Getty Images

After Rishi Sunak took over the premiership from the hapless Liz Truss in November, the Conservative Party has moved into calmer waters. The hope that this will have a positive effect on the opinion of the electorate is vain at the moment. The ruling party lost nearly a thousand seats in the assembly, accounting for a third of the total seats. The party also suffered a heavy loss in the council elections a year ago, when voting took place in London, among other places.

When the result translates into elections for the House of Commons, Labor ends up with 35 per cent, according to the BBC, while the Conservatives are just 26 per cent. The pro-EU Liberal Democrats will have to settle for 20 per cent. In such an outcome, Labor cannot govern alone and will have to look for a coalition partner. Elections for the lower house will not be held until late 2024, so Sunak, a pragmatic technocrat, still has time to regain ground.

One bright spot for the Conservatives is that the loss is smaller than the polls had predicted. For example, this is not so bad compared to the election of 1995, when the disastrous election to the Council was a prelude to the brutal victory that Tony Blair would book two years later. While Labor leader Keir Starmer’s popularity lags behind that of his own party, the opposite is true for Sunak. The Conservatives have been badly tarnished by the escapades of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.

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red wall

Problematic for conservatives is that the losses occurred in both the south and north of the country. In the prosperous South, she lost ground to the Liberal Democrats who swarmed disaffected Tory voters, and the rest came out ahead. In the center and north of the country, in the so-called red wall, the Conservatives are losing voters seduced by Boris Johnson and his promises of Brexit. Some of these voters appear to be returning to the Red Labor nest.

UKIP, the party of old Brexiteer Nigel Farage, has lost the last of its councilors in this election.

Just like in the Netherlands, national politics affects how people vote for city council. On the other hand, in England there are relatively few active local parties. In some municipalities, local politics played a major role. In the seaside town of Plymouth, for example, Conservative officials were given the bill for the controversial decision to cut down 100 healthy trees one night in March to redevelop the city centre.

Prime Minister Sunak’s position is safe despite the bloodshed. The last thing the Conservatives need now is a leadership election. They experience the fact that Charles’ coronation has withheld news of the beating as a blessing in disguise.

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