Early English local election results showed Boris Johnson’s Conservatives suffered early losses in a poll staged amid a cost-of-living crisis and fines imposed on the Prime Minister for breaching his own COVID-19 lockdown rules. Early results showed the Conservative Party lost 53 council seats. The main opposition Labor party won 1 seat and the Liberal Democrats 27 seats.
The global tally due later Friday will provide the most important snapshot of public opinion since Johnson won the Conservative Party’s biggest majority in more than 30 years in the 2019 general election. The poll is the first electoral test for Johnson since becoming the first British leader in living memory to break the law while in office. He was fined last month for attending a birthday party at his office in 2020, breaking social distancing rules then in place to curb the spread of COVID.
“These results confirm that the Conservatives have suffered a sort of rebuff from the electorate,” said John Curtice, professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde. Votes held on Thursday will decide nearly 7,000 council seats, including all of those in London, Scotland and Wales, and a third of seats in most of the rest of England.
The night’s most closely watched results in London’s 32 boroughs had yet to be fully declared, but some initial tallies showed Labor winning in some areas of the capital. Partial results showed Johnson’s party could lose control of the borough of Wandsworth, its flagship council in London.
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