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“Red Wall” and London: the stakes of the British local elections this Thursday – World


Originally due to take place mostly a year ago, these elections have been postponed due to covid-19. Their results are expected Friday and throughout the weekend, the count being, in some places, slowed down by restrictions related to the health situation.

This is the first ballot since the United Kingdom left, after years of psychodrama, the European Union, now faced with the realities of Brexit and the disruption it generates. It is also the first election since Prime Minister Boris Johnson opposed Labor Keir Starmer, who, after a promising start, is struggling to convince.

Despite the various cases hovering over him, including the scandal over financing the renovation of his Downing Street apartment, and the toll of the pandemic, which has claimed more than 127,000 lives in the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson maintains its rating in the polls, particularly thanks to the success of the massive vaccination campaign.

Hartlepool

“This is the first test, we are fighting for each vote but I never thought that we would cross the mountain in a single year”, conceded, Wednesday, Keir Starmer, elected after the historic rout of his party, end 2019.

Ballot particularly followed for Labor: in addition to the local elections, Hartlepool, a town in the north-east of England, a Labor stronghold, elects its new MP, after the resignation of the incumbent due to accusations of harassment sexual.

250 jobs are threatened there at Liberty Steel following the fall of the finance company Greensill, a case which turns into a national scandal involving the former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron.

Keeping Hartlepool, where Boris Johnson traveled on Monday, is essential for Keir Starmer after the Conservative tidal wave in the legislative elections at the end of 2019 in the Labor “Red Wall”, these regions affected by the deindustrialization of the north of the England.

London

Five years after becoming the first Muslim mayor of a Western capital, Labor Sadiq Khan is on track to land a new term in London, where he succeeded Boris Johnson.

His main opponent is conservative Shaun Bailey, whose family is from Jamaica, lagging far behind in the polls.

Regional mayors

Voters will vote on Thursday for the mayors of seven city-regions, including those of the West Midlands (which includes the UK’s second most populous city, Birmingham), Greater Manchester and Liverpool.

Here again, any breakthrough by Labor against the Conservatives will be scrutinized, to see, conversely, whether Boris Johnson’s party manages to keep the advances it obtained, in 2019, and in the previous local elections after the referendum of 2016 on Brexit.

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