Labor has suffered its worst showing in 40 years in local elections across England and Wales. Just one year after Gordon Brown became prime minister, his party pulled only 24% of the projected national vote, 20 points behind the Tories and behind even the third-party Liberal Democrats. As for the night's most closely watched race—for mayor of London—both parties privately project that Tory challenger Boris Johnson has won.
The Tories also made major inroads in England's north, traditionally a Labor stronghold. Brown will now face intense pressure to relaunch his government. If the local results were replicated in a general election, the Tories would sweep into Downing Street with a majority of well over 100 seats. (Read more British elections stories.)