Daniele Meloni’s article on the upcoming elections on May 6 in the UK
Boris Johnson was forced to postpone the symbolic drinking of a pint of beer on the occasion of today’s reopening of pubs, restaurants and beauty centers. The week of mourning caused by the death of the Duke of Edinburgh suggested that the premier postpone.
Maybe until after the local elections, which will be held in less than a month, next May 6th. The test will be significant, with more than 48 million Britons called to vote for 143 City Councils, 129 Scottish Parliament Members, 60 Welsh Senedd MPs, 39 Chiefs of Police and 13 directly elected mayors.
In addition, and this is actually the highlight of the round, there is the by-election of Hartlepool, which will have to be held after the sudden resignation of Labor MP Hill. The polls are quite unanimous in indicating the Tories have a clear advantage, with the party candidate, the farmer Jill Mortimer, leading by 7 points over her rivals Labor and LibDems. For Johnson it would be no small scalp: Hartlepool has always been red.
In London, however, it seems that Sadiq Khan may be re-elected for a second term, despite the controversy over the Transport for London funds and the increase in crime in the capital. Tory candidate, Shaun Bailey, is campaigning boldly to oust Khan, but he is also facing a city that has turned red in recent years. Many will remember the images of 2017 when the Corbynian Labor candidate stormed the boarding school of the very wealthy Kensington showing her clenched fist as a sign of victory. Things have not changed in 2019: 49 of the 73 MPs elected in the capital were Labor, a sign of a problem-London that exists for the Tories. On the other hand, the only one to join the Greater London Authority from Mayor since his birth in 2000 was the current prime minister.
Other cities or regions that will have to elect new mayors – or confirm current ones – are Bristol, Liverpool, Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region. The councils in these areas have quite broad powers at the local level such as establishing local taxes, garbage collection and the management of libraries and sports centers and nursing homes.
In Scotland, where polls on a possible IndyRef2 show mixed results, not much should change. The SalmondGate will make the nationalists lose a few percentage points, who are on their way to being the first party and perhaps to have an absolute majority in Holyrood. The Conservatives of Douglas Ross are stable. Johnson has not yet taken part in the campaign and may not even be traveling to Edinburgh and Scottish cities in the days before the vote. For this campaign it is not an asset. Labor is down slightly despite the change at the top, with Anas Sarwas replacing Corbynian Leonard last month. The collapse of Labor in Holyrood in the last 10 years coincided with the exploit of the nationalists, of social democratic faith.
Finally, Wales, one of the two nations – together with Scotland – which took advantage of the 1997 devolution to obtain powers in the fields of health, construction and education. Here he has governed Welsh Labor since 2018 with Mark Drakeford who, not having an absolute majority of seats in the Senedd, is supported by the LibDems and a former MP from the nationalists of Plaid Cymru. Covid and healthcare are the points at the center of a campaign that sees Labor ahead of the Tories by a whisker: the latest YouGov poll gave two points of margin between the two parties.

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