UK local elections: Labor flips seats it hasn’t held in decades

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s ruling Conservative Party suffered a landslide defeat in local election results on Friday, further bolstering expectations that Labor will return to power after 14 years in next month’s UK general election.

Labor won control of councils that have not run the party for decades in England and won a special by-election for parliament that, if repeated in a general election, would lead to a massive defeat for the Conservatives.

Although the results overall make for grim reading Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the Conservative mayor of the Tees Valley in north-east England was re-elected, but he was able to breathe a sigh of relief, although the polls were depressed. A victory by Ben Hoochen, who ran a highly personal campaign, may be enough to cushion Sunak from a revolt by conservative lawmakers.

More than 50 countries will go to the polls in 2024

to Keir StarmerFor the Labor Party leader, it is generally a stellar set of results, although in some areas with large Muslim populations, such as Blackburn and Oldham in north-west England, the party’s candidates appear to have suffered due to the leadership’s strong pro-Israel bias. Position in the conflict in Gaza.

Perhaps most important in the context of a general election due by January, but possibly as soon as next month, Labor has won back the parliamentary seat of Blackpool South in England’s north-west. The seat went to the Conservatives in the last 2019 general election when he was then Prime Minister. Boris Johnson Large inroads into Brexit-supporting parts of the country.

In a contest sparked by the resignation of a Conservative lawmaker following a lobbying scandal, Labour’s Chris Webb won 10,825 votes, to the 3,218 votes of his second-placed Conservative opponent. A 26% swing from the Conservatives to Labour, the third largest since the Second World War, would be enough to see the party return to power for the first time since being kicked out in 2010.

Starmer went to Blackpool to congratulate Webb on his victory and urged Chung to call a general election. Sunak has the power to decide the date and has indicated that it will be in the second half of 2024.

“It was directly told to Rishi Sunak that we are fed up with your decline, your confusion and your division and we want change,” he said.

Election on Thursday In much of the UK, voters will decide who will run many aspects of their daily lives, such as rubbish collection, road maintenance and local crime prevention, in the coming years. But with a general election looming, they are viewed through a national prism.

Voting for the Blackpool South by-election begins on Thursday 2 May 2024 at the Blackpool Sports Center in Blackpool, England. The by-election was held after Scott Benton resigned. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

John Curtis, professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde, said the results so far indicated the Conservatives were losing about half of the seats they were trying to protect.

“We are certainly seeing one of the worst, worst, Conservative performances in local elections in 40 years,” he told BBC radio.

At midday on Friday, with half the votes counted in 2,661 seats, the Conservatives were down 213 to Labor 92. Other parties, such as the centrist Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, have also made gains. Reform UK, which is trying to usurp the Conservatives from the right, made some gains, particularly in Blackpool South, where it came in second by less than 200 votes.

Labor has won in areas that voted heavily to leave the EU in 2016 and in areas crushed by pro-Brexit Johnson, such as Hartlepool in the north-east of England and Thurrock in the south-east of England. It also took control of Rushmoor, an unsuccessful autumn and military-heavy assembly in the south of England.

A bright spot for the Conservatives is the result of the Tees Valley, which was a traditional Labor stronghold before Brexit. However, Houchen’s vote share has fallen by almost 20 percentage points from 2021 to 54%.

Sunak struck a negative note on Teesside when he congratulated Hoochen on his win, while acknowledging “disappointing” results elsewhere.

“I’ve got a message for Labor too because they know they have to win here to win the general election and they know that,” he said. “They assumed the Tees Valley would go back to them, but that didn’t happen.”

When that decision is announced on Saturday, Sunak believes Andy Street will be the mayor of the West Midlands. On Saturday, Labour’s Sadiq Khan is expected to be London mayor, although there are some concerns that a low turnout could see him lose to Conservative challenger Susan Hall.

Sunak became Prime Minister in October 2022 after the short tenure of his predecessor. Liz dressHe left office after 49 days following a budget of unfunded tax cuts that rattled financial markets and sent borrowing costs soaring for homeowners.

His chaotic – and shocking – leadership has compounded the Conservatives’ difficulties following the circus surrounding his predecessor Johnson, who was forced to quit after being deemed to have lied to parliament over a breach of the coronavirus lockdown in his offices in Downing Street.

With Labor still leading the polls by 20 percentage points, nothing Chung has tried to do has turned the political dial. Whether anyone else could do better than Sunak is likely to occupy the minds of nervous conservative lawmakers in parliament over the weekend.

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