Conservatives make income; Independence events win in Scotland: NPR

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, pictured on Friday, celebrated his party’s victory in a local election. Johnson’s Conservatives did well in the local and regional elections. Oli Scarff / AFP via Getty Images Hide caption

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Oli Scarff / AFP via Getty Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, pictured on Friday, celebrated his party’s victory in a local election. Johnson’s Conservatives did well in the local and regional elections.

Oli Scarff / AFP via Getty Images

The results of the UK local and regional elections gave Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party a boost on Saturday, while the parties for independence won a majority in the Scottish Parliament.

Voters went to the polls on Thursday to decide the composition of the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments and the mayors of England’s largest cities, including London and Manchester. Voters also voted for local councils, police commissioners and other local authorities, leading some in England to refer to it as “Super Thursday”.

The last time voters in the UK voted was in 2019 as last year’s elections were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A special election took place in the city of Hartlepool in northern England, where the ruling Conservative Party of Great Britain won a parliamentary seat that the Labor Party had previously held since 1974.

During a visit to Hartlepool, Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised his party’s election victory. “I think this election shows that people want a party and government that is focused on them and focused on making change,” he said.

“What has happened now is that you can see that we did Brexit,” Johnson told reporters. “… and I think people want us to do everything else now.”

But for many in Scotland, Brexit brought back a desire to break away from the UK. Scotland held its first referendum on independence in 2014 and 55% of voters were against it.

Many now seem to have changed their minds.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party won one seat less than a majority in parliament on Saturday. But with allies in the Green Party, Sturgeon said she would push for another referendum on independence once the pandemic ends.

“It is the will of the country,” she said.

The UK government says Scotland needs permission to hold another referendum – and Johnson has turned the idea down. A push for a referendum could spark a battle in court.

Scotland could try to break away from the UK again

In Wales, the results show that, according to the BBC, the elections brought little change and the Labor Party remained in power.

In Manchester, voters re-elected Labor Mayor Andy Burnham in a landslide, according to the BBC. In an emotional victory speech, Mayor Burnham thanked his family for “your patience, guidance, love and support,” he said, fighting back tears.

And in London, Labor Sadiq Khan won a second term as mayor of Britain’s most populous city. Khan became the first Muslim Mayor of London in 2016.

Thank you London. It is the absolute honor of my life to serve the city I love for three more years.

I will leave no stone unturned to get our city back on its feet.

A better future is possible and we will deliver it together. pic.twitter.com/kwA1awEten

– Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) May 8, 2021

The vote count was slowed by the coronavirus pandemic and many results were not received until Saturday.

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