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Saturday, May 18, 2024
Saturday May 18, 2024
Saturday May 18, 2024

Tories face major setbacks in local elections, await key mayoral results

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Rishi Sunak confronts a disappointing outcome in local councils, with eyes now on London and West Midlands mayoral races

The Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, endured significant losses in the latest round of local elections, marking what could be the party’s worst performance in four decades. As the results pour in, the focus intensifies on the impending mayoral results in London and the West Midlands, which could influence the party’s morale and strategic direction ahead of the general election.

Out of 107 councils that went to the polls on Thursday, 102 have declared results, revealing a stark downturn for the Tories who lost over 400 council seats and control of 10 councils. This substantial loss reflects a broader sentiment of dissatisfaction with the current government, exacerbated by economic pressures and internal party dynamics.

Election expert Sir John Curtice noted that these results could represent the worst outcome for the Conservatives in 40 years, underscoring the scale of the electoral rebuke. The losses included a significant defeat in Yorkshire and North Yorkshire—Prime Minister Sunak’s political backyard—where Labour’s David Skaith secured the mayoral seat.

However, it wasn’t all dismal for the Conservatives; Lord Ben Houchen’s re-election in Teesside provided a slight respite from the widespread losses. This victory is seen as a crucial hold for the party amidst the surrounding electoral challenges.

All eyes are now on the mayoral contests in London and the West Midlands. A victory for Tory Andy Street in the West Midlands, in particular, is deemed critical for staving off potential leadership challenges from within the party. Rebel MPs eyeing a leadership change may find their plans complicated by a strong performance in these key regions.

The latest council control figures stand at Labour leading with 48 councils (an increase of 8), followed by the Liberal Democrats who now control 12 councils (up by 2). The Conservatives have seen their control diminish to just 5 councils, a drop of 10. Meanwhile, the Independent and Others category has a slight increase, and the Green Party has also seen gains.

As the country awaits the final results from the remaining councils and the pivotal mayoral elections, the political landscape appears increasingly volatile, with significant implications for the upcoming general election

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