United Kingdom

Local elections act as litmus test for coalition government


Local elections today across the United Kingdom will give a clear picture as to the popularity of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government. Local elections in the UK typically act as a litmus test for the incumbent government and the opposition Labour Party will be hoping to make wide ranging gains across the whole country.

The latest opinion poll by You Gov for the Sun newspaper published on Monday put the Conservatives on 32%, the Liberal Democrats on just 9% and the opposition Labour Party on 41%. That is a major fall on the 2010 general election for the two governing parties and a revival in fortunes for the Labour Party.

Elections will be held in:

• 131 English local authorities in a mixture of full, half and third elections. Most are by third where one third of the seats are up for election.
• 32 Scottish local authorities all full elections.
• 21 of 22 Welsh local authorities all full elections.

A lot of attention will be paid to the elections to take place in London. Incumbent Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson is seeking a second term and the full Greater London Assembly is up for election. London has 5.8 million voters and opinion polls suggest that Boris Johnson will buck the national trend and emerge victorious. Salford and Liverpool will be electing Mayors for the first time.

There are also referendums taking place in 11 English cities to decide if in future they will have elected Mayors.

Results should be known in most areas by tomorrow morning.

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