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News > United Kingdom

UK Conservatives Suffer Huge Losses in Local Elections

  • Theresa May looking glum.

    Theresa May looking glum. | Photo: Commons Wikipedia

Published 3 May 2019

"I think there was a simple message from yesterday's elections ... Just get on and deliver Brexit.'

Britain’s ruling conservative party lost over 1,000 seats on local councils across the country. Local elections Thursday were followed by calls for Theresa May to resign.


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The Conservatives lost a total of 1,269 seats that they previously held at a local level. One MP from Theresa May’s party broke into tears on live television as results came in, making it clear that her party had lost control of her area, Chelmsford Essex, once a bastion of conservatism.  

However, it was also a bad night for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party. Though Labour was able to gain 244 seats, mostly from the Conservatives, they suffered a net loss of 63. Many of the losses came in working-class areas such as Sunderland and Bolsover that voted 'Leave' in the EU referendum, and who are disillusioned with Labour’s lack of commitment to Brexit.   

Uncertainty over Brexit has damaged both main parties. A shock poll released by Yougov ahead of the EU parliamentary elections in May, showed a new group called the “Brexit Party” as winning the largest vote share, 9 points ahead of Labour and 17 points ahead of Conservatives. The Brexit Part was only formally registered in February 2019 and has no policies other than the immediate implementation of Brexit.  

Prime Minister Theresa May said following the results, "I think there was a simple message from yesterday's elections to both us and the Labour Party — 'Just get on and deliver Brexit,'" whereas, Jeremy Corbyn held a more optimistic view, saying, "I wanted us to do better, of course ... But I also say the swings to Labour in many parts of the country show that we can win seats in a general election, whenever that comes."

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