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U.K. Conservatives Braced For Rough Local Elections

 




Voters in England and Wales go to the polls today to elect mayors and local council members, in what will inevitably be seen as a barometer for Britain’s coming general elections. Given the Conservative Party’s dire poll numbers and the sour public mood, storm clouds are already forming.


The question is not whether the Tories will lose seats to the Labour Party — that is a foregone conclusion among pollsters — but whether the losses will exceed expectations. 


A professor of politics at the London School of Economics suggested that if the Conservatives, who are defending 985 seats in England, can hold their losses to fewer than about 500 seats, the party faithful will probably accept the setback. But steeper losses, he said, could set off a spasm of panic and even put Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s job in jeopardy.

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