Day of triumph for Tories and misery for Labour after local elections

Andy Burnham

When I said we could do this - people simply didn't believe me.

Corbyn admitted there had been "some disappointing results" but preferred to point to the party's wins in the Metro Mayoral contests in Liverpool and Manchester, where former MPs Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham won with more than half of the vote.

There is no doubt that the tally of votes yesterday told a story of a buoyant Tory party surging far ahead of its rivals.

Mr Corbyn turned his sights on tax cheats and rip-off businesses as he told supporters: "When Labour wins there will be a reckoning for those who thought they could get away with asset stripping our industry, crashing our economy through their greed and ripping off workers and consumers". "It's not the SNP losing ground to the Tories", she said in a BBC interview.

Unless there is a dramatic change in circumstances over the next few weeks Theresa May knows there is every likelihood she will be swept back to power with an enhanced majority.

Liberal Democrats had a mixed election, failing to break through against the Tories in the south-west England battleground, but making advances in some General Election target seats like Eastleigh and Wells.

Labour also played down its losses.

Ukip's reason for existing was to get Britain out of the European Union, and with that aim achieved - or at least in the process of being achieved - Brexit-backing voters have seemingly turned to the Tories to see it through.

Many of the Tory council gains - which include areas such as Derbyshire, East Sussex, Norfolk, Gloucestershire, Isle of Wight, Lincolnshire, Warwickshire and Monmouthshire - came at the expense of UKIP, whose vote has collapsed.

Elections expert John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, said Ukip, which won 3.8 million votes at the 2015 general election, had lost "everything they've been trying to defend".

With 82 of the 88 local authorities declared, the Conservatives had 1,776 seats, a net gain of 510, according to the Press Association news agency.

The party won just one seat, down 133.

"We have five weeks to win the general election so we can fundamentally transform Britain", he said.

"It seems that the Theresa May and the Conservative Party have consolidated their grip on the right-wing of the British electorate, and they are very much the party that is trusted to deliver Brexit", said Phillips.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said there was hope to be taken from the results not being "the wipeout that some people expected".

Alan Rhodes, who was the Labor leader of Nottinghamshire county council but is now leader of the opposition group, admitted that his party was "in a hard place at the moment".

He acknowledged, however, that Labour had lost "too many" councillors and now faced a mammoth job if he was to gain the keys of No 10.

A forecast return of voters to the Liberal Democrats failed to materialize, with the party seeing a net loss of 38 seats.

Elsewhere, the Conservatives gained control of Monmouthshire from no overall control and overtook Labour in Denbighshire to become the largest party, with the council remaining hung.

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