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The Observer view on England’s local election results: Keir Starmer deserves credit but he has more to do | Observer editorial

Labour has enjoyed a remarkable transformation since its dismal showing in the 2019 general election

Voters want a change. That is the message they overwhelmingly sent to the government in last week’s local elections. The Conservatives lost more than 1,000 councillors, a dismal result that puts them on a projected national vote share of just 26%. Parties to the left of the Conservatives – Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens – between them captured more than two-thirds of the projected national vote share.

This is a rude awakening for Conservative MPs who hoped Rishi Sunak could revive their party’s fortunes. It suggests voters have had enough of a Conservative government that has presided over deep cuts to the welfare safety net and rolled back public infrastructure, that has inflicted economic pain on the country through deliberate policy choices, and that has sought to distract from its appalling record by introducing unworkable and punitive measures for desperate asylum seekers.

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