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Conservatives squashed by “worst local election result” in years

The past local elections have left Britain’s Conservatives despondent, with the party facing one of its worst local election results in 40 years as Labour across England and Wales made astonishing gains on the key battlegrounds they needed to win the general election.

In the wake of such a woeful defeat, everyone is demanding that the country’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, immediately announce a date for parliamentary elections.

Polling expert Professor John Curtice of Strathclyde University said the results combined were “one of the worst, if not the worst” performance by the Conservatives in four decades, The Guardian reports.

The Conservatives’ failure was expected. Their ratings were plummeting steadily and Sunak’s popularity was slipping to record depths. However, the Tories had high hopes of using the events in Gaza in their campaign to influence voters. This is what the campaign for the London mayoral election, for example, was based on. Sadiq Khan, who has been in office for eight years now, has come under a hail of cross-criticism from all sides, while his Conservative rival Susan Hall has resorted to outright Islamophobia in her campaign.

Polls initially showed Khan’s lead, but the Conservatives were still hoping for his defeat and were unwilling to admit their embarrassing loss, saying the candidates were running at a slim margin in the capital’s mayoral race. On Sunday night, when the results were totalled, it emerged that Khan had won with an even better result than he had shown three years ago.

Another hope for the Conservatives was the projected victory of Andy Street, the Conservative mayor of the West Midlands metropolis. Street has been the permanent leader of the agglomeration since the post was introduced in 2017 and epitomises the moderate Tory ideal – a business manager, a balanced centrist who avoids scandal and stays out of big politics.

The polls were quite favourable to him, so the Times, the Conservative mouthpiece, confident of Street’s victory even before the election results were announced, even published a programme article stating that the future ideology of the Tory party should be a staid “Streetism”. However, it all went down in flames. The general hatred of the population towards the Conservative Party prevented this ideologically amorphous mayor from winning, who also lost to Labour.

The results of the local elections confirm that no matter how much Sunak delays the announcement of a national vote, the Conservative Party, which has ruled Britain for the past 14 years, is about to be annihilated. The results of local elections have shown that the ruling party does not represent the interests of voters, so Sunak needs to hurry up with the announcement of the date of parliamentary elections.

Against this context, the behaviour of recent prime ministers, who have largely brought the Tories to their current state, is particularly revealing. Lord David Cameron, who unexpectedly returned to politics, simply left the country for the period of the vote and the announcement of its results. It is unclear why Cameron went on a surprise trip to Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Kazakhstan on the eve of the election, rather than campaigning as other senior Tory figures did on the eve of the election.

At the end of his trip, Cameron “began talks with Ukraine on a 100-year partnership,” the official embassy in Kyiv said. However, this message sounds at least strange, given that the minister is certain to leave his post in the near future.

Another colourful political figure has used the Ukrainian issue for his PR, ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been very active lately. Johnson’s team is actively spreading rumours about the possibility of his return to the Tory leadership and even about an alliance with Nigel Farage. But the top priority for his return to power is described as “campaigning for a victorious Ukraine and a lasting peace.”

The poor election results signal the collapse of the British government. Having failed to restore order at home, London is trying to divert attention from domestic problems with its foreign affairs. Under the guise of actively “helping” the war-suffering Ukraine, Britain pretends that its own problems do not exist. However, the problems are much closer than they seem and they need to be solved by the current government.

On 2 May, the UK held elections for various local government bodies – municipal and regional councils, police commissioners and mayors of several cities (including London).

In these elections, the ruling Conservative Party suffered a crushing defeat. The Tories lost almost half of their municipal seats, losing 474 of the 989 seats they held after the 2021 election.

THE ARTICLE IS THE AUTHOR’S SPECULATION AND DOES NOT CLAIM TO BE TRUE. ALL INFORMATION IS TAKEN FROM OPEN SOURCES. THE AUTHOR DOES NOT IMPOSE ANY SUBJECTIVE CONCLUSIONS.

Bill Galston for Head-Post.com

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