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United Kingdom: first post-Brexit election: voting with face masks on. What’s at stake: London, Scotland and Wales

(foto ANSA/SIR)

Management of local areas, local economy, waste cycle, mobility and transport, libraries: it is on these and other municipal management issues that today, from seven am UK time, i.e. eight o’clock Italian time, until 10 pm UK time, 48 million British citizens, Commonwealth citizens and residents of the European Union will be voting. During this “super Thursday”, they will choose about five thousand municipal and provincial councillors in 143 boroughs, including the mayor and the municipal council of London and part of the municipal councils of Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham. These elections, which bring together last year’s local elections, which were cancelled due to Covid, could mark the first step towards United Kingdom’s break with an independent Scotland and remove the Labour Party from power for the longest time in its history. Actually, voters will also have to choose the 129 members of the Scottish Parliament and the sixty members of the Welsh one, as well as 13 mayors. The nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon will ask for a second referendum if she gets the absolute majority of the seats in the local parliament. Tomorrow morning, the first important result will be the by-election at Hartlepool, which has always been a Labour constituency. If Conservatives win, as the surveys seems to suggest, their majority of eighty MPs in Westminster would be unassailable. These are also the first election in the Covid age, with face masks and hand sanitiser. Votes will be counted in safe health conditions and will last several days, and many polling stations will be located outdoors, in parks or stadiums.

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