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Tory Woes Mount as Rishi Sunak Concedes Disappointing Local Election Results

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (Credits: The Independent)

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has described the overnight local elections results as “disappointing” despite his party’s successful retention of the Tees Valley mayoralty.

However, the Conservatives have suffered losses, with over 400 council seats slipping out of control. Labour has made gains, including winning the Blackpool South by-election with a 26% swing, the third biggest in a by-election since 1945.

Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer has hailed the results as a clear message from voters that they want change. He emphasized that the Blackpool result was a shout from the public, indicating that they have had enough of the current government. Sir Keir believes that this sentiment reflects the whole country, and it’s time for the Prime Minister to heed and call a general election.

Rishi Sunak (Credits: NDTV)

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak remains optimistic, stating that the results show voters will stick with the Conservatives in the general election. He believes that Labour knows they need to win in Teesside to have a chance at winning the general election, but voters trust the Conservatives to build a brighter future for Britain.

Leading pollster Sir John Curtice has cautioned that the results may not be entirely reliable for predicting Conservative fortunes in a general election. He notes that Ben Houchen’s success in Tees Valley was heavily personal, and the results may not translate to other areas.

Labour has gained control of key council targets like Hartlepool, Thurrock, Rushmoor, and Redditch. However, there are indications that Labour’s stance on Gaza may be hurting the party in areas with Muslim populations. In Oldham, where two Labour councillors quit the party over Gaza earlier this year, Labour lost control of the council.

The Workers Party of Britain, which has fiercely attacked Labour over its Gaza position, won four council seats, including in Manchester, where it defeated Labour’s deputy leader of the council.

Reform UK is also performing well, nearly beating the Tories into second place in Blackpool South. The Green Party is heading for a record number of councillors, while the Liberal Democrats won Tunbridge Wells but failed to take another key target area, Wokingham.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (Credits: Politico)

Lib Dem Leader Sir Ed Davey has declared that his party’s general election campaign starts today, citing the clear message from voters that they have had enough of the Conservative government.

The by-election in Blackpool South was triggered by the resignation of former Conservative MP Scott Benton, who was suspended from the party after being caught in a lobbying sting.

Labour candidate Chris Webb overturned a majority of 3,690 to defeat Conservative David Jones in the constituency, which was previously held by Labour from 1997 to 2019.

The results paint a bleak picture for the Conservatives, who lost over 400 council seats and control of eight councils, while Labour gained 170 council seats. The final declarations are not expected until Sunday, with 37 police and crime commissioners still being elected in England and Wales.

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