Thursday, May 30, 2024

Labor is asking for new elections after many victories in local elections


Newly elected Labor MP Chris Webb (th) was visited on Friday by party leader Keir Starmer, who is very pleased with the good result. Photo: Peter Byrne / PA via AP / NTB

Of NTB | 05/03/2024 13:04:48

Policy: Millions of Britons cast their ballots on Thursday to determine the political course of hundreds of local authorities in England and Wales for the coming years. As the results ticked in on Friday, it became clear that Labor was taking power in a number of places.

In addition, the opposition party has secured a seat in Parliament from the Tories, who were almost crushed in the by-election in Blackpool South in Northern England.

– This was not just a small message. It wasn’t just mumbling. It was a cry from Blackpool, “we want change,” said Labor leader Keir Starmer as he dropped by to congratulate the party’s new MP, Chris Webb.

– Blackpool speaks for the whole country when they say “we’ve had enough after 14 years of failure, 14 years of decline, we want to turn the page and start again with Labour”, Starmer continued.

– People no longer trust the Conservatives. Prime Minister, be decent, admit that you have failed and call a new general election, Webb said when the victory was in the box.

The election was held after the constituency’s Conservative representative had to leave Parliament due to a lobbying scandal.

Tory party secretary Richard Holden admits it has been a difficult night.

– It is obviously not a great result. A difficult night for the Conservatives, says Holden in an interview with Times Radio on Friday. He describes the results so far as “disappointing”.

The party tried to defend hundreds of seats in the country’s municipal councils that they secured in the local elections in 2021. According to opinion polls, they risk losing around half of the nearly 1,000 seats they are defending.

– We are probably witnessing one of the worst, if not the worst, conservative performance in the local elections in the last 40 years, says election researcher John Curtice to the BBC.

Local elections are also important when it comes to voters’ daily lives in the coming years. It is about everything from waste management, road maintenance and measures against crime.

Labor has now secured power in municipalities where they have been in opposition for several decades. The only places where the party seems to have gone back are in municipalities with many Muslim residents. This is due to Labor leader Keir Starmer’s strong pro-Israel stance in connection with the war in Gaza.

On Friday afternoon, there was still tension linked to who will win the mayoral election in London and a number of other major cities. In London, Mayor Sadiq Khan is expected to secure a third term, which in that case would be a record.

In the West Midlands and Tees Valley, however, the mayoral race is expected to be close. If the Tories also lose here, it will lead to even greater pressure on Sunak to call new elections within a short time.

Chris Webb secured the vacant seat in Parliament by one of the best margins since the Second World War. The result showed that he received 10,825 votes, while conservative David Jones had to settle for 3,218. The result is being referred to as an earthquake.

Both the supplementary election and the local election are bad news for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The conservative party is going backwards in several municipalities, which reinforces the opposition’s demand for new elections as quickly as possible.

Labor has long been favorite to win the next parliamentary election, and the local election is yet another confirmation that there is a high probability of a change of power in the next election. The election date is not clear, but the election will probably be held during the last six months of the year.

(© NTB)


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