Undermined by the “partygate” scandal and soaring prices, the Conservative Party of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson emerges weakened local elections, Friday 6 May. The renewal of 200 local councils in England, Scotland and Wales has resulted in a sharp decline in the Tory polls, but without giving rise to the collapse feared by some.

The count began Friday morning with very symbolic victories for the Labor opposition, which won in London the councils of Westminster, controlled by the Tories since its creation in 1964, of Barnet as well as Wandsworth, “favorite advice” of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Labour’s gains are more limited outside the capital and especially in the working-class areas of central and northern England, which the party must win back if it wants to take power.

According to still partial results, the Conservatives lost 11 councils and more than 200 seats while Labor won seven councils and more than 120 councillors.

“Change starts now”

Boris Johnson talked about results “mixed”. He recognized a “hard night” Thursday for the Conservatives in some areas but claimed progress in others. For his part, cheered up by the results in London, Labor Party leader Keir Starmer hailed a “turning point” : “We sent a message to the Prime Minister, Britain deserves better”did he declare, before writing on Twitter (in English) “Change starts now”.

Usually marked by very local issues and low turnout, these elections gauged for the first time the effects of the holiday scandal in Downing Street during the confinements. In power for twelve years, the Conservatives are also criticized for their insufficient support for households strangled by inflation, expected to exceed 10% in the coming months.

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