UK Local Elections Show Swing to Labour With General Election Pending

The government, which has adopted a pro-crypto stance, must hold a general election by end-January.

AccessTimeIconMay 3, 2024 at 11:42 a.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2024 at 5:03 p.m. UTC
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  • With results in from about a third of the local councils holding votes, the Labour Party has gained 116 seats, while the governing Conservatives have lost 275.
  • The local election results show how sentiment has changed in the run-up to a general election that must be held by the end of January.

Early results from yesterday's U.K. local elections show a swing away from the governing Conservative Party, which has staked out a pro-crypto stance, toward the Labour Party that, while it's expressed support for tokenization, has yet to say where it stands on cryptocurrencies in general.

About a third of the country's local councils went to the polls on Thursday, with more than 2,600 seats up for grabs. With results in from 70 of the 107 councils, Labour had won 722 council positions, a gain of 116, while the Conservatives lost 275 for a total of 277, BBC data shows. Many of the other results, including the London mayoral election, may not be known until tomorrow or even Sunday.

The Conservatives, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, have said that they want the country to be a crypto hub and have ushered in legislation enabling crypto to be treated like a regulated financial activity while shutting down calls for it to be treated like gambling. Labour, meanwhile, has said it will support the Bank of England's digital pound plans and wants to make the country a hub for tokenization, or the representation of real-world assets on a blockchain.

These results so far suggest that the Conservatives are unlikely to hold on to power after a general election, which is likely to be held later this year and must be held by Jan. 28, 2025.

UPDATE (May 3, 15:20 UTC): Updates results in first bullet and second paragraph.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Camomile Shumba

Camomile Shumba is a CoinDesk regulatory reporter based in the UK. She previously worked as an intern for Business Insider and Bloomberg News. She does not currently hold value in any digital currencies or projects.

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