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Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Walls, ‘gates’ and Britain’s local elections – podcast | News

Britain’s local elections on 5 May mark the first significant electoral test for the government since Partygate allegations engulfed Downing Street. They are also the last major polling day before a general election is expected to take place next year.

As the Guardian’s political editor, Heather Stewart, tells Nosheen Iqbal, while voters are ostensibly choosing who will control their local councils, they are also making a statement about the state of the government and the opposition.

The Conservative chair, Oliver Dowden, has warned of “hundreds” of lost council seats as the party attempts to manage expectations before Friday’s results. But Labour is also playing down its chances of big gains amid fears that Keir Starmer’s lockdown controversy could blunt their attacks on the Tories.

Every council seat is up for election in Scotland, with Labour desperate to regain some of the ground it will need to make up in a general election to replace the Conservatives in government. Support for the SNP will also be closely watched for signs the independence movement has continued momentum.

Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, the most significant result of all could be apparent by the weekend: Sinn Féin is tipped for a momentous win, which could leave them as the largest party in the assembly.

A polling station sign in London in the run-up to local elections this week.

Photograph: Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/REX/Shutterstock

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