Voters set to punish May’s Conservatives over Brexit delay
LONDON: British voters are expected to use local government elections today to punish Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party over its failure to deliver Brexit, revealing a divided and dissatisfied electorate.
More than 8,000 seats on English councils – administrative bodies responsible for day-to-day decisions on local policy ranging from education to waste management – are up for grabs in the first elections since Britain missed its March 29 Brexit date.
The results will show a picture, albeit an imperfect one, of how that has affected support for May’s centre-right Conservative Party, and the leftist opposition Labour Party.
The Conservatives are predicted to lose hundreds of seats, and, according to one analysis, the final toll could top 1,000. Labour, which rejects May’s vision of Brexit but still supports leaving the bloc, is expected to make gains, as are the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats.
That would heap more pressure on May to resign, showing that the deep dissatisfaction with her handling of Britain’s EU exit extends beyond party members into the wider population, angering both those who want to leave and those who want to stay.
“Never did I think time would exist where I’d get abuse from Conservatives for telling Conservatives to vote for Conservatives, but here we are,” said Stephen Canning a local councilor campaigning for the Conservatives in a pro-Brexit part of south-east England.