The first results of the local elections in England are unfavourable for the Conservative Party of prime minister Sunak. In 230 of the 317 councils, similar to municipalities, Britons were allowed to go to the polls yesterday. More than 8,000 seats will be allocated in the elections.
In about a quarter of the councils, the votes have now been counted. In those seats, the Conservative party lost 144 seats. These went mainly to Social Democratic Labour, but smaller parties such as the Liberal Democrats and the Green party also gained seats.
“Obviously we are disappointed,” Conservative Party Chairman Hands said on Times Radio. The results of most councils will only come in during the course of today.
Loss of thousand seats?
Based on the results so far, pollsters conclude that the Conservatives could lose a thousand seats, a third of the total. That corresponds to the most pessimistic prediction of party chairman Hands.
Government parties, by the way, often have a hard time in these midterm elections. At the previous local elections in 2019, the Conservatives lost 1300 seats. The first national elections are scheduled for the end of next year.
Yesterday’s local elections were the first since Sunak took office, who became prime minister at the end of October after the particularly short premiership of Liz Truss and the scandals surrounding Boris Johnson. Sunak does not have it easy because of the turmoil in his party, high inflation and disappointing economic growth.
No votes were cast in London, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland will go to the polls for local elections on May 18.