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A bafflingly complex set of local elections with a singularly simple result: Boris Johnson on top

There is still much counting to do, but the local elections suggest that the prime minister’s Brexit realignment is consolidating, not unwinding

By Tom Clark  

Photo: Piero Cruciatti / Alamy Stock Photo

The number crunchers always plea—in vain—to those of us in the media not to rush in and “call” the local election results on the basis of a few unrepresentative councils that happen to declare early. This year, however, their howl of anguish was delivered with special feeling.

Why? Because with the pandemic cancelling the 2020 elections, there are twice as many contests as usual—and they are harder to make sense of too, because for some of them the baseline is 2016 (when the two parties were neck-and-neck in the national equivalent vote) or 2017 (when Theresa May enjoyed a 12-point…

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