January 30, 2023

Local Elections in Britain, Scotland and Ireland: What to Watch For

5 min read

LONDON – Rarely does the American political source “all politics is local” seem more appropriate for elections in Britain.

When voters go to the polls on Thursday to elect thousands of representatives to local bodies in the UK, Scotland and Wales, their choices will resonate in British national politics. Possibly acting as a referendum. On the Conservative Party and its scandal-ridden leader, Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Conservatives’ heavy losses could add to the party’s fears that Mr Johnson’s participation Social gatherings that violated the Quaid ban. Despair has tarnished its political brand – and, by extension, the party. It could provoke a vote of no confidence in his leadership and force him to step down.

This does not mean that the Downing Street party scandal is at the top of many voters’ minds. They care more about cotyledon concerns such as garbage collection, road maintenance and planning rules – issues that are controlled by elected local council members.

Conservatives face serious difficulties in their struggle with Britain. Increased energy and food costs. The Downing Street scandal involving illegal parties has deepened anti-government sentiment, leading some Conservative members of parliament to worry that Mr Johnson could jeopardize his seat in the next general election. can.

Although Ukraine fully supports them And while its president, Vladimir Zelensky, has changed the subject for the time being, Mr. Johnson still faces a number of developments that could further worsen his position.

Police may impose further fines on him for violating Cowed’s rules (he has already paid). And a government investigator, Save Gray, is set to present a report on the case, which many expect Mr. Johnson to paint a damaging portrait of the alcohol-driven culture on Downing Street.

While the Conservatives are trailing the opposition Labor Party in the election, defeat is far from a forgotten outcome. Labor did well in 2018, the last time many of these seats were up for grabs, leaving it less likely to advance. While it could choose some Conservative strongholds in London, it could struggle to regain its seats. “Red wall” An industrial stronghold in the north of England where the Conservatives set foot in 2019.

Voting is mostly for electing “councilors”, representatives in municipalities who oversee tasks such as filling pits, collecting garbage and issuing building permits. No matter what happens, there will be no change in the national government under Mr. Johnson. Turnout is likely to be low.

Elections are taking place everywhere in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and voting is taking place in parts of England. Politicians often see the results as a test of public opinion, but some voters think more of their patch than of the big political picture. And since votes are cast only in certain places, these elections at best give a fragmented sense of what the voter is thinking.

Even before the first vote, the parties were playing as expected. It will not be a shock when the results come out on Friday, if they all claim that they are surprised by the better results than expected.

This is all part of the game, because the formulation of the statement is especially important in local elections. In 1990, the Conservatives declared defeat a victory, focusing on symbolic victories in London’s two boroughs: Wandsworth and Westminster.

According to him, the Conservatives do not seem to be bothered by the prediction that they could lose 550 seats, as it reduces the bar. Labor, for its part, has lowered expectations by arguing that its strong performance four years ago, when it last contested several seats, leaves little room for improvement.

The Conservatives would like to avoid a loss of more than 350 seats, but they can win 100 to 150 seats as the general midterm blues. The advantage of more than 100 seats will be a great achievement for Mr. Johnson.

Labor leader Kerr Starmer will be disappointed if his party fails to win a major victory. 50 to 100 seats will be a reliable performance. He also hopes to strengthen the grip of labor in London.

The results from England, Scotland and Wales, as well as the Northern Ireland Assembly elections, where various developments are taking place – may come as a surprise on Friday.

But a handful of generations can illuminate the state of British politics. In London, the Conservatives will fight to retain the Windsworth and Westminster boroughs. Wandsworth has been controlled by conservatives since the time of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Westminster, where the Downing Street scandal is a local issue, has never been out of Conservative control.

In the North London Borough of Barnett, where 15% of the population is Jewish, Labor, which has been criticized for anti-Semitism under its former leader Jeremy Corbyn, is seeking a solution. Under Mr. Starmer, Labor Worked to root out anti-Semitism. And fix your relationship with British Jews.

In the “Red Wall”, Labor’s ability to reverse the Tory path will be put to the test. Conservative Won the parliamentary by-election in Hartle Pool.A port city in the northeast of England last year. But local government elections are likely to be tough there. A Conservative candidate for the City Ward seat urged voters: “Don’t punish the local Conservatives for the mistakes made in Westminster.”

In Scotland, the question is whether the Conservatives can maintain the gains of the last vote in 2017, when it won the second largest number of votes after the Scottish National Party. Polls show the Downing Street scandal has damaged the Tories’ popularity in Scotland.

Northern Ireland’s legislative elections could have far-reaching consequences. The Irish Nationalist Party, Sunfen, was in a good position to win the most seats, representing an extraordinary future for a political party embroiled in years of paramilitary violence.

The results, which were not expected until Saturday, could. Maintain power sharing arrangements In the north, which has maintained a fragile peace for two decades. In last week’s polls, Sunfan continued to take the lead. On the Democratic Unionist Party, which supports the current status of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom.

Sinn Fein has launched a campaign emphasizing the concerns of the kitchen table, such as the high cost of living and health care – and undermines its ideological commitment to the Irish Alliance, which Irish He has a legacy of ties to the Republican Army.

The only immediate effect of Sinn Fein’s victory would be the right to name the first minister in the next government. But the Unionist, which is divided into three parties and could still end up with the largest bloc of votes, has warned that it will not run in government with Sunfan.

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