British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s party also suffered a bitter defeat in the last English local elections. The Conservatives narrowly lost the mayoral election in the West Midlands region to the opposition Labor Party. The new head of the metropolitan region around the megacity of Birmingham will be the Social Democrat Richard Parker, who will replace the conservative incumbent Andy Street, as the electoral commission announced on Saturday evening.

The Tories’ only major success in the election is that they defended the town hall in the Tees Valley region of northeast England. Overall, however, they lost around half of the almost 1,000 seats in local councils that they had held until then. Even the Liberal Democrats, who only play a minor role in the British Parliament, won more seats.

Extent of Tory defeat

The pollster John Curtice wrote in a piece for the BBC that the extent of the Tory defeat was something the party had to worry about. It was one of the Conservatives’ worst results ever in local elections. The election result in England reflects polls suggesting a change of government in the UK.

Labor leader Keir Starmer, possibly the future prime minister, was proud of his party and called on Prime Minister Sunak to call a general election as soon as possible. Sunak had hinted at an appointment in the second half of the year, but had not yet given an exact date. The last possible date is January 2025.

In addition to the West Midlands, the Social Democrats won mayoral elections in London and the metropolitan regions of Manchester and Liverpool, among others. In the future, they will also provide the mayor in the newly formed York and North Yorkshire region, in which Sunak’s constituency is located.