More than 160,000 candidates spent the night expecting their fate waiting for local election results. A total of 4,371 seats were up for grabs in 150 local councils. Results are being declared across England as counting continues up and down the country. These elections are the first England-wide test of political opinion since the election of last year.
Update 13:22 (GMT)
The overall results of Thursday’s local council elections in the UK gave mixed indications and results to Labour and Tories. Labour has failed to take control any of its targeted councils in London. On the other hand, the Conservatives recorded better than expected results. At the same time, however, both parties lost control of key councils.
The Labour Party claimed its huge coup, by winning Trafford, after 14 years of Tory control, thus making Greater Manchester all Labour.
The overall results, which still need to be duly analysed, however indicate that despite what could be the most horrendous spell for any party in Government, Labour failed to do the necessary breakthroughs or reach any of its set goals.
As such, Theresa May’s leadership is safe after these results. Most interesting and worth noting is the collapse of the Ukip vote, which ended benefitting the Tories most. The only interpretation to this is possibly the fact that the Leave constituency is keeping faith with the Conservatives over Brexit.
Update 04:23 (GMT) The BBC reports that the situation at the moment is that Labour and the Conservatives have both lost control of key councils in local elections across England. Labour failed to take several targets from the Tories, including Wandsworth in London, but won back Plymouth and became the largest party in Trafford. The Tories benefited from a collapse in UKIP’s vote in many areas, celebrating wins in Basildon and Peterborough. The Lib Dems regained control of Richmond, in London, from the Tories and gained seats elsewhere.
Update 02:18 (GMT)
Labour Party, through John McDonnell predicted a “really mixed night” for the party after it failed to take targets such as Swindon, Amber Valley and Walsall. The Tories are celebrating victory in Basildon, as the UKIP vote collapsed, while the Lib Dems are making gains. Speaking to Sky News, Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell plays down suggestions his party should be enjoying a dominant night. He says: “All the hype in the media about Labour gains in certain boroughs was never going to be the case.”What we were looking for was steady progress.” McDonnell admits Labour’s anti-Semitism row could have had an impact in Barnet, a Labour target that is still yet to declare.
With more than third of results in so far, Labour have held onto 26 councils, including Southampton, Wigan and Harlow. But they lost control of Nuneaton and Bedworth in Warwickshire, after losing eight seats to the Conservatives, enough to leave no party with a majority. The Conservatives have won Basildon in Essex, which was previously under no overall control, benefiting from the implosion of the UKIP vote. They also held on in Swindon, despite a well-resourced Labour campaign, but have relinquished control of Trafford in Greater Manchester, where Labour are now the largest party. (BBC)
The first analysis given by polling expert Professor Sir John Curtice to the BBC, said the Tories were performing relatively well in areas with a substantial Leave vote in the 2016 referendum, where they are picking up votes from UKIP, which is not standing candidates in many areas, while Labour were performing better in places where the Remain vote was stronger.