Britons to head to polls in England, Scotland, Wales to elect local representatives

Britons to head to polls in England, Scotland, Wales to elect local representatives

Northern Ireland to hold assembly election amid discussions on Irish unity, Northern Ireland Protocol

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) – British voters will head to the polling stations Thursday in England, Scotland and Wales to elect new local representatives while Northern Ireland will elect the new assembly.

In 140 councils across England, 4,350 seats will be up for grabs, whereas all seats of Scotland’s 32 and Wales’ 22 councils will be contested.

Northern Irish voters will vote to fill their 90-seat local parliament.

The Thursday elections are expected to be indicative of what the British nation really thinks about the country’s governance.

Some of the latest polls suggest that the leading Conservative Party under Prime Minister Boris Johnson will see the loss of hundreds of seats as voters may react to a scandal involving illegal coronavirus lockdown parties dubbed “Partygate” which resulted in police fines for the prime minister and some senior Tory ministers.

Higher inflation and the cost of living crisis are two other problems in the UK which may prompt voters to change their votes Thursday.

If the leading Conservatives perform poorly on Thursday, the results may be interpreted as a punishment for Partygate and the cost of living crisis, which have been on the country’s agenda for the past few months.

The undesired loss of votes may trigger a leadership contest with the party’s 1922 Committee deciding on Johnson’s future if they receive at least 54 letters from party MPs, similar to the ousting of Theresa May in May 2019 after losing the parliamentary majority for her party in early general elections.

Tory lawmakers may almost certainly be concerned whether the Labour Party can get to the driver’s seat with similar results in the next general election.

Similarly, a poor performance for the Labour Party may raise eyebrows in the party and cause a leadership contest.

The election will start at 7 a.m. and polling stations will close at 10 p.m. The counting in England will start after 10 p.m. and early results could start coming in as early as midnight. However, a clearer picture will come midday Friday with more votes counted.

In Scotland and Wales, the counts will begin Friday, and the earliest results are expected in the afternoon, with more results in the evening.

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