Today, Thursday May 6, much of the UK is voting for regional parliaments (in Scotland and Wales), mayors (like London) and thousands of local officials. In other words, the largest elections are held after the British Parliament elections, which is why newspapers call it “Big Thursday”, referring to the term used in American politics to refer to the day when voting takes place in many people. It states simultaneously during the Democratic and Republican primaries (in this case it falls on Tuesday, not Thursday, and is called “Super Tuesday”).
The most important and long-awaited election that has been commented on today is undoubtedly the one for the renewal of Parliament in Scotland. It’s so important not because of uncertainty about who will win – opinion polls show the current pro-European Prime Minister’s SNP and center-left Nicolas Sturgeon as the preferred candidate – but rather because of uncertainty about the gap between the first and second parties. If the Scottish National Party wins massively, the Sturgeon government will almost certainly ask the UK central government, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to hold a new referendum on Scottish independence after the one that failed in 2014.
Recently, SNP has experienced a significant decrease in consensus due to its complication Political scandal It dates back to 2018, but we started talking about it again between February and last March; According to opinion polls, it was mainly the Scottish division of the Labor Party and the Greens that took advantage of this.
But, as mentioned, voting is not only in Scotland.
Elections in Wales
Also in Wales, as in Scotland, there is a vote to renew the local parliament, “Snead,” which has 60 members. Currently, the Welsh Labor Party, which has 29 seats in Parliament, rules with a slim majority thanks to two additional seats secured with the support of a small party and an independent member of parliament. The government is led by Labor Prime Minister Mark Drakford.
The two largest opposition parties are the Conservative Party, which has 10 seats in Parliament, and the Wales-friendly Plaid Cymru, which has another 10.
Polls give Labor an edge, also thanks to Drakford’s generally well-received handling of the pandemic. However, there are many seats in the balance and it is not certain that the ruling party will be able to govern without having to pursue complex alliances.
Mayor of London
Among the thirteen mayors to be elected today, there is also the mayor of London, who among the candidates is Sadiq Khan, mayor of the current Labor Party in the British capital.
Although conservative consensus has increased nationally in recent months, thanks to the successes of Johnson’s vaccination campaign above all, Khan is firmly advancing (48%): if he does not exceed 50% of the vote in the first round, however, he will have to go to Ballot paper. His main opponent is Governor Sean Bailey who is currently around 29 percent. In total, 20 candidates presented themselves.
Elections in England
In England, 143 local governments are voted: they have jurisdiction over smaller areas of territory and are responsible for education, transportation, the environment, property taxes, and other matters specific to smaller areas, among others. In all, about 5,000 representatives will be elected to local councils.
Elections in Hartlepool
Today we also vote in Hartlepool, which has a population of around 90,000, in the north-east of England. These are elections of national significance: they elect a member to the UK Parliament and can be compared to our “by-elections” (held to elect a representative in a seat that has remained vacant for some reason).
Hartlepool could become an unexpected victory for Boris Johnson and the Conservatives, who seem to have an advantage despite the fact that the seat has belonged to the Labor Party since 1974. In general, it is unusual for a party to win a seat against the party that it has already occupied in such an election, But the conservative consensus in Hartlepool can be explained by the fact that Brexit, which is popular with conservatives in particular, was supported with 70 percent of the vote here in 2016.