Conservatives record early gains in United Kingdom local elections

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 20, 2017

A total of nearly 5,000 council seats were in play from the local elections previously held in 2013.

The Conservative party has swept aside Labour to win the biggest gains by a governing party in a local election for more than 40 years.

Ashfield Independent Working All Year Round candidates won five seats on the council, the Conservatives three and Selston Parish Independents one - while the only winning Labour candidate was John Knight.

Polls have found that voters who desert UKIP, even if they previously backed Labour, are moving overwhelmingly to the Conservatives.

Mr Corbyn, whose leadership had been widely criticised from within the Labour ranks, described the results as "mixed" and claimed the party was "closing the gap" on the Conservatives. And Jeremy Corbyn's party was pushed into third place in Scotland, where Tories added at least 110 councillors.

The centrist Liberal Democrats - the most firmly pro-EU of Britain's major parties - failed to make the big gains they were hoping for.

The Scottish National Party, who are seeking another referendum on independence on the back of Brexit, won 431 seats, up 31.

That said, we can pick up some things from today's results: The first is that the broad story as suggested by the polling - that the Conservatives are comfortably ahead and are challenging Labour in Wales and the SNP in Scotland - looks about right. By mid-afternoon on May 5th the Tories had net gains of 481, Labour net losses of 321, the Lib Dems net losses of 44 and UKIP net losses of 131.

The leader's allies desperately tried to explain the mauling, but it marks a horrendous opening to a general election campaign which will see voters go to the polls in just over a month.

Cllr Truelove wondered if, with a general election around the corner, voters would be less inclined to vote "politically" in the local elections, instead focusing more on the quality of the local candidate than they perhaps would have done had Theresa May not called a snap vote for June 8.

No party previously had overall control of Warwickshire County Council, but the Conservatives now have an overall majority of seats.

Ukip's vote collapsed, with the eurosceptic party's supporters apparently defecting in swathes to the Conservatives. Nationalist party Plaid Cymru gained 33 seats for a total of 202 with control of one council.

The British general election is scheduled for June 8.

Labour has lost control of seven councils at the end of a sobering day for the party.

UKIP's Roger Helmer, a European Parliament member, tweeted Friday that without his party, Brexit would never have happened.

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