May 28, 2023

Great Indian Mutiny

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Conservative voters headed by British Prime Minister Sunak were rejected by voters in local elections

  • First major election test for Prime Minister Sunak
  • The results are a clear rejection of the conservatives – opinion polls
  • The Labor Party says it is on its way to winning the next national election

LONDON (Reuters) – Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party faced heavy losses in local elections on Friday, undermining the British prime minister’s efforts to revive their fortunes and emboldening the opposition Labor Party ahead of national elections expected next year.

Sunak took power in October after a year of political scandals, high inflation and stagnant economic growth. While in office, he faced a cost-of-living crisis, growing concern about health care and widespread industrial strikes.

While ruling parties often struggle in mid-term elections, the results of the Council in England are the biggest, and perhaps the last, test of voter sentiment ahead of the next national election due by January 2025.

After the majority of councils counted their votes, which do not affect the government’s majority in Parliament, the Conservatives lost 460 seats while Labor added 260 and the Liberal Democrats gained 143.

The Labor Party said they were now on their way to power in the next general election. A Sky News projection based on vote share in early results reported that Labor could get 36-38% of the vote in the next national election, making it the largest party, with the Conservatives at 28-30%.

The projection said Labor may not reach a majority, although that could depend on its performance in Scotland, where it is vying for seats from the SNP and which has not held a local election.

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A similar report by the BBC said Labor would get 35% in the national election while the Conservatives would get 26%. Some in Sunak’s party expressed concern about the results.

Labor has won control of Swindon City Council, the town in southwest England where Labor leader Keir Starmer, who has always voted for ruling party lawmakers since 1983, launched his election campaign.

Justin Tomlinson, the Conservative MP for Swindon North, said: “No spin, no shine. That’s an appalling set of results.” “The party collectively needs to take this as a wake-up call for modernization and renewal.”

“Not Dark” Armed Forces

It was to vote on the election of around 8,000 councilors for the local government authorities responsible for providing day-to-day services such as bin groups and schools.

Sunak’s party suffered losses to Labor in key target seats in the north and south of England, while the Liberal Democrats advanced in the wealthier parts of the south.

Sunak told reporters that the results so far have shown that people want his ruling party to live up to their priorities, but it is still too early in the process of announcing the results to reach firm conclusions as the charges continue.

John Curtis, Britain’s most popular pollster, said the results were an “unequivocal” disapproval of the Conservatives, but there was still an open question about Labour’s popularity.

He told BBC Radio: “(Labour) may win an overall majority, not because of any great enthusiasm of the Labor electorate, but simply because the Conservatives are doing so badly.”

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Sunak has tried to restore the Conservatives’ credibility since becoming prime minister and third leader of his party last year after Boris Johnson’s scandal-plagued premiership and chaotic economic policies ousted Blaise Truss in the space of two months.

Sunak’s party lost control of at least 26 councils in what Johnny Mercer, the MP for Plymouth, said was a “terrible” night for the Conservatives.

Labor made gains in some of the areas that supported leaving the European Union in the 2016 Brexit referendum, which the party will need to win if it wants to achieve a majority in the next parliament.

“Make no mistake, we are well on our way to achieving a majority for Labor at the next general election,” Starmer said during a visit to Medway, one of the councils set up by the committee overnight.

Reporting by Andrew MacAskill. Editing by Michael Perry

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