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London, May 6 – The UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faced devastating losses of more than 1,000 Tory seats in the local elections, while Labour has said the party is on track to win power at the next general election, media reported.
The Prime Minister conceded the English Council results were “disappointing”, but faced a scathing verdict from some of his MPs and the first rumblings of a threat to his leadership from allies of Boris Johnson, The Guardian reported.
Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, was buoyed up by winning more than 500 seats, with the party believing its projected vote share puts it on course to take power in 2024 for the first time in 14 years.
The BBC’s projected national share of the vote put Labour on 35 per cent, the Conservatives on 26 per cent and the Liberal Democrats on 20 per cent, while other parties were on 19 per cent — with estimates extrapolated from the England-only local results.
On Friday night, Labour was expecting this to be its best local election results since 1997, with an equivalent vote share lead of eight-nine per cent over the Tories. Labour sources said this could result in a majority Starmer government if repeated in a Westminster contest, The Guardian reported.
Labour made significant gains from the Conservatives in the North of England and the Midlands, as well as taking Southern Councils such as Plymouth, Swindon, Dover and Medway. They celebrated becoming the largest party in local government, which has not happened since the days of Tony Blair in 2002.
The party had made surprising successes in Hertsmere, in Hertfordshire, the seat of the Deputy Prime Minister, Oliver Dowden, where the Tories lost overall control of the Council.
With the dire results rolling in through the course of Friday, the Tories had lost more than 1,000 Council seats by the evening, with several Councils still to declare, The Guardian reported.
“Make no mistake, we are on course for a Labour majority at the next general election,” Starmer said, having previously urged caution within his shadow team against any complacency about winning.