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This May Will Be the First U.K. Elections Held During a Pandemic Since 1918
Author Peter Keeling noted in History Today that this month, English, Scottish and Welsh voters will go to the polls in the first U.K. elections held during a pandemic since 1918. That year, amid an influenza epidemic that claimed the lives of tens of millions globally, David Lloyd George led his coalition government to a crushing victory in mainland Britain, while Sinn Féin swept the board in what was soon to become the Irish Free State.
For reporters looking for further insight and historical perspective on this issue, Michael John Williams is available for an interview. Williams, associate professor of public administration and international affairs in Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, teaches courses on great power conflict, transatlantic relations and international security. His research focuses functionally on international security with a regional concentration in twentieth-century Europe.
Williams offers his perspective on this issue for use in your stories:
“As a result of delays due to the pandemic, the U.K. is going to hold a massive ‘super Thursday’ election that will see voters turning out for elections to the Welsh Senedd, the Scottish Parliament, 143 English Councils, 13 mayors, 39 police commissioners, the Greater London Assembly and a special election for one MP.
This will be the first electoral test for Prime Minister Johnson and the new Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer. All eyes will be on Scotland, where the worry is that the nationalists will gain a majority, and will then call for another referendum on Scottish independence. PM Boris Johnson says he will deny the request, which will spark a constitutional crisis in the U.K.”
For more information or to schedule an interview with Professor Williams, please contact:
Joshua M. Grossman ’03
Director of Media Relations, Division of Communications and Marketing
T 202.227.9250 | firstname.lastname@example.org