Local polls boost May five weeks before United Kingdom general election

Posted May 20, 2017

"I think the swing is down to Jeremy Corbyn, [Labour party leader] on the doorstep people don't like him and I think some people have voted Conservative for the first time in this election".

The Conservatives made sweeping advances across the United Kingdom, gaining more than 500 councillors, winning tightly-fought battles for elected mayors in the West Midlands and Tees Valley and forcing Labour into third place in its former stronghold of Scotland.

Conservatives also achieved shock victories in elections for regional mayors in the West Midlands and Teesside, as well as in the West of England.

The Liberal Democrats took 143 seats, the Greens obtained five, while the UK Independence Party (UKIP) had not won any seats at the moment, the news outlet added.

The Liberal Democrats were having a mixed election, failing to breakthrough against the Tories in the south-west England battleground.

With full results declared by all 88 councils holding elections in England, Scotland and Wales, the Tories had control of 28 authorities, including 11 gains. They have gained, at the time of writing on Friday morning, around 140 council seats while Labour have suffered losses and Ukip have been all but wiped out.

Sunday Telegraph columnist Liam Halligan told CNN that while UKIP's success had effectively pushed former Prime Minister David Cameron into calling the referendum, it now struggled to seem relevant.

The results will provide some insight into the likely outcome of the June 8 United Kingdom general election.

The prime minister has styled herself as offering the most stable leadership to take Britain through two years of tough Brexit negotiations, and she took aim at Brussels on the eve of the local elections.

"A 17 [seat] majority is as much as I expected us to get", Mr Rushton said. UKIP deputy chairwoman Suzanne Evans acknowledged the party faced a "difficult dilemma". "These elections are a challenging set of contests held in unique circumstances", a spokesperson of Labour claimed.

It was a bad day for the Labour party in Ashfield as just one councillor was elected to Nottinghamshire County Council.

The results are being described as a bellwether of voting trends for the general election, with Theresa May set to sweep to victory. They held onto Cardiff and several other towns where the Tories hoped to make gains, however. Most of these councils, the vast majority, are still to count.

Matt Brief, Head of Dealing at IG, said: "The results of Thursday's United Kingdom elections are confirming what many already thought; the Conservatives are going to win the General Election".

The anti-EU party has struggled to find a footing and has been facing an existential crisis since the referendum in June a year ago in favour of Brexit.

Voters often use local elections to punish the ruling party.

Paul Nuttall, UKIP's leader, should be particularly anxious.