LONDON, May 5 (Xinhua) — Britain’s ruling Conservative party has lost over 1,000 seats in local elections across England, latest election results showed on Friday. Senior Conservatives had predicted ahead of the elections that major losses were to be expected after 13 years in power.
By Friday evening, 222 out of 230 councils had already declared their results, with the Conservatives losing control of 45 city halls and the party’s 1,040 councilors lost their jobs in the process. However, the count will not be completed until Tuesday, when the last council, Redcar and Cleveland, announces its results. Labour was the biggest winner on the day, gaining over 518 seats, while the minority Liberal Democrat party won 410 seats and the Green Party got 241 seats.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that his party’s losses were disappointing, but he did not believe there had been a massive movement towards the Labour Party. Labour leader Keir Starmer said his party was on course to win a majority at the next general election. Professor John Curtice, a polling expert, said that based on the current results Labour should be the leader in next year’s parliamentary election. However, it is uncertain whether they will win an outright majority, he said.
Under Britain’s electoral rules, a general election must be called before the end of 2024. Professor John Bryson, a political expert from the University of Birmingham, told Xinhua that local elections should not necessarily be seen as indicative of voter behavior in a future general election. No political party in the country currently has a viable strategy to underpin sustainable growth and address the structural fiscal deficit that Britain has been experiencing for “far too long”, Bryson said