A political party that has been in power for 11 years, during which it pulled the country out of the European Union but then did not know how to handle trade relations with Europe, run by a prime minister who once lost his job as a journalist because he invented stories and is now embroiled in financial scandals, would expect to be trashed in elections.
But when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his centre-right Conservatives faced the voters in local elections last week, he not only managed to avoid any political damage but also increased his party's share of the vote. The Conservatives even defeated the opposition in a by-election, capturing a parliamentary seat which for more than half a century was considered such a safe Labour Party seat that nobody bothered to conduct opinion polls there.
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