Johnson’s popularity put to test in local elections

London, May 4 (EFE).- The United Kingdom prime minister Boris Johnson is braced for his first electoral challenge since he and his Conservative Party became embroiled in a scandal linked to lockdown parties as voters across Britain get ready to go to the polls for local elections Thursday.

While the so-called Partygate scandal is still fresh on the minds of British voters, pressing issues that also spell bad news for Johnson in the local elections include the rising cost of living and inflation.

The limited scale of the elections, in which just 146 of 333 local seats in England are up for grabs while all are to play for in Scotland and Wales, will come as a relief to the PM, however.

It is common in partial elections like those taking place in England for the ruling party to cede ground to the opposition, in this case Labour, but this time the majority of the contested seats are already in the hands of the center-left party.

Despite these caveats, the polls will nonetheless offer a measure of the public’s opinion on Johnson, who was fined by London’s Metropolitan Police last month for breaching Covid-19 lockdown rules that his government designed during a surprise birthday party at Downing Street in May 2020.

Members of his own party could use the results of Thursday’s election as a litmus test of Johnson’s outlook for the next general elections, expected by no later than early 2025.EFE


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