Boris Johnson suffers setback in local elections

Mid-term air hole or real beginning of the end for the conservative leader? If the count is not finished, the camp of Boris Johnson is in the process of suffering a severe electoral defeat, in particular in London, in local elections. In the capital, the Labor opposition thus won the local councils of Westminster, controlled by the Tories since its creation in 1964, of Barnet as well as Wandsworth, “favorite council” of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

From his constituency in west London, Boris Johnson himself spoke of “mixed” results. He acknowledged a “tough night” Thursday for the Tories in some areas but claimed progress in others. According to the still partial results, the Conservatives lose 11 councils and more than 170 seats compared to 2018 while Labor wins seven councils and more than 110 additional elected officials.

Electoral backlash from “partygate”

Enough for Labor leader Keir Starmer to hail “a turning point”. “We sent a message to the Prime Minister, Britain deserves better,” he said, before tweeting “change starts now.” However, Labor’s progress is less outside London, where the Liberal Democrats and the Greens are progressing.

Although traditionally marked by very local issues and low turnout, these elections gauge for the first time the effects of the holiday scandal in Downing Street during the confinements, a case which earned Boris Johnson a fine. The popularity of Boris Johnson, 57, soon to be three in Downing Street, collapsed after the “partygate”. He has so far weathered the storm, highlighting his leading role in Western support for Ukraine, and says he is determined to stay in power and lead the battle for the next legislative elections in 2024.

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In power for 12 years, the Conservatives are also criticized for their insufficient support for households strangled by inflation, which should peak this year at more than 10% according to the central bank. Labour, the main opposition party, hopes to take advantage of its weaknesses. But Keir Starmer, who has repeatedly called on Boris Johnson to resign, is in turn targeted by a police investigation, suspected of having broken health rules for having shared beers and curries with his team at the end of April 2021 before a partial legislative .

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