Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s camp suffers a setback in local elections in England

Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s camp suffers a setback in local elections in England

These elections, the first at the national level for a head of government who took office in October, were a real test before the next legislative elections scheduled for the end of 2024.

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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London (United Kingdom) May 5, 2023 (DANIEL LEAL / AFP)

On the eve of the coronation of Charles III on Saturday 6 May, the British Conservatives led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak suffered heavy losses in the local elections in England. It was the first test at the ballot box for a head of government who arrived in Downing Street in October and the results, still partial, are not good. In the wake of Thursday’s vote to renew the 8,000 seats in 230 municipal councils, the Conservatives, in power for 13 years, have suffered major defeats in traditional bastions of the British right.

“It’s always frustrating for these hard-working conservative advisors.”Rishi Sunak responded on Sky News as soon as the first results were announced in the early morning, repeating his promises on a national level regarding the economy, health or combating illegal immigration.

More than 1,000 elected officials lost out to the Tories

After votes were counted in 219 of the 230 local councils at risk this year, the Conservatives lost more than 1,000 elected officials, according to the BBC. Labor wins 513 but it is not the only one benefiting from the distrust of the majority. The (centrist) Liberal Democrats recorded a net gain of 409 seats, and the Green Party’s environmentalists won 238 seats.

The Labor Party, which hopes to succeed in bringing its leader Keir Starmer to Downing Street after the next general elections scheduled to take place by the end of next year, for example won the local council in Stoke-on-Trent (North), the “capital” of Britain’s exit from the European Union, which voted 69% to leave the EU in 2016, and the port of Dover, the traditional channel port, is on the right. “We have great results across the country.”Keir Starmer welcomed supporters to Medway (south-east), where Labor took over the local council leadership from the Conservatives.

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