Victory for Johnson and Sturgeon, defeat for Starmer and Labor (with the exception of Burnham and Drakeford). This is how we can summarize the electoral round of 6 May in the United Kingdom, which saw as many as 48 million voters go to the polls to elect mayors, mayors of the regions, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Parliament. Here are the key points of an election that confirmed a new realignment of British politics, after those already recorded during Brexit and the 2019 elections.
Red Wall Goes Blue – The Conservatives' Hartlepool supplementary victory cannot be underestimated. Both Johnson and Labor leader Starmer have visited the northeastern coastal city several times in recent weeks. The triumph of Jill Mortimer, elected with more than 20 points ahead of the Labor candidate, confirmed the general tendency of pro-Brexit constituencies to rely on the Tories. Tories who have also confirmed themselves in the Tees Valley region with Ben Houchen, the 34-year-old new rising star of the party, and in the West Midlands with Andy Street. Overall, across England the Tories won 2,205 city council seats (rated 132 out of 143), 239 more than before, and became the second party in Scotland and Wales, confirming themselves as the unionist bastion of the two home nations .
The Sorrows of Sir Keir – Labor went into defeat, losing the Hartlepool seat, red since 1974, and over 300 city councilors scattered across England. In Scotland, the new leader, Anas Sarwar, was not enough to increase the consensus. Indeed, Scottish Labor lost 2 seats there too. Starmer is facing criticism from all sides. Corbynian activists from Momentum and Unite , the party's largest union, accuse him of shifting the party too much to the center, diluting the former leader's radical left message. Sir Keir reacted by replacing the chief campaign organizer, Angela Rayner, his deputy in the party, and promising to work to change things. Labor does not seem competitive in its old constituencies but has retained Wales with centrist Mark Drakeford and some major unions such as Liverpool, where Joanne Anderson (first black woman in the council to hold office) was elected, and Greater Manchester with Andy Burnham, favored by bookmakers to replace Starmer in the event of his resignation.
London (not) Calling for Khan – It could have been the surprise of the round, but in the end Sadiq Khan prevailed over the combative Shaun Bailey in London: 55 percent to 45. Until a couple of months ago the gap was over 20 points . A result on which the Tories can also count for the future: the mayorship of the capital and the various constituencies that voted for Labor in 2019 are again contestable. At the Greater London Assembly 11 seats went to Khan and his, 8 to the Tories. The first of 25 city councilors to be elected was Tony Devenish, West London Tory.
Scotland in SNP yellow – In Edinburgh, Sturgeon and his SNP stopped within one seat of the absolute majority (also due to the mixed electoral system). With 64 seats, the Scottish National Party is clearly the first force in Holyrood, the Tories finished second with 31 and colored all the constituencies of southern Scotland, those on the border with England, blue. Sturgeon said it is a vote for a new independence referendum, to be held by 2023, but Johnson in an interview with the Telegraph has already said no, calling the proposal "senseless". The green light for the second referendum must, by law, be given by Westminster. IndyRef2 will still be a crucial issue in the remainder of the legislature and also and above all for Boris Johnson if he wants to keep the UK intact territorially.
The Greens advance – Introduction. These are local elections, which, as a rule, are held with an electoral system different from the first-past-the-post that prevails at national level. It is difficult to predict a green wave on the model of the German one in the UK. Yet the Greens got 121 councilors, an increase of 71 over the previous round. The issues that the Johnson government is also pursuing on sustainability and green economy will give Sian Barry and Jonathan Bartley (the two co-leaders of the party) the opportunity to have a say in the media on the future of the country.
The Tories – Johnson happy problem seems invincible, but the advance into the Northeast has its side effects. The prime minister himself was quick to define his "not a party of the working class ", but "the party of opportunities and aspirations of all British citizens". In Hartlepool, however, in the intentions to vote before the supplementary, the Tories had 13 points on Labor among the workers. To the commentariat and to a substantial part of the party this alarms, because it could transform the Conservatives in the medium to long term. An editorial appeared in the Telegraph criticizing Johnson for having taken anti-corporate measures: increase in the corporate tax from 19 to 25 percent between now and 2023, increase in the minimum wage, entry with united feet on the multinationals of English football, increase dizzying public debt and so on. This is the happy problem of the Conservatives: they continue to win and gain consensus, but they will have to translate it into policies that take into account the needs of unbridled liberalism in London, the protectionist ones of the Red Wall , Brexit and international cooperation, Global Britain and Little Britain who, rightly or wrongly, considers cosmopolitan liberal Boris Johnson to be his mentor on Downing Street.
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL http://www.atlanticoquotidiano.it/quotidiano/il-red-wall-si-tinge-di-blu-ma-ora-in-gioco-lidentita-dei-tories-disfatta-labour-delude-persino-khan-a-londra/ on Mon, 10 May 2021 03:54:00 +0000.