Tories retain control of Leicestershire County Council

State of the parties in Wales at 07:00 graphic
State of the parties in Wales at 07:00 graphic
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20 May, 2017

UKIP's Lisa Duffy refused to call the results a "disaster" but admitted that the night had been "very challenging" for her party.

Mayors in the newly-created regions (Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City region, Tees Valley, West Midlands and West of England) will enjoy additional powers devolved from central government, from policing to housing.

Liberal Democrats described early results as "patchy", with the party losing 41 seats and failing to make progress in their targets of Cardiff,
Somerset and Gloucestershire.

The Tories are set to have a 160-seat majority in the House of Commons, winning as many as 408, with Jeremy Corbyn's beleagured Labour party reduced to 147 seats.

Often council elections will be seen as opportunities to safely give parties a kicking, but the unique situation we now face is that local elections have been held in the full knowledge that a General Election will be held next month.

In Lincolnshire, UKIP lost all of its seats after picking up 16 councillors in the 2013 election. Labour meanwhile had control of two councils and had lost control of two in Wales. Labour lost control of six councils, although it hung on to Cardiff, Newport and Swansea in Wales.

The more serious Conservative activists also urge caution.

The Tories made striking gains in Scotland, including in such previously hostile territory as east Glasgow and Renfrewshire.

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

As Ukip shed 107 councillors while holding a solitary seat in Lancashire, leader Paul Nuttall said the party was "a victim of its own success" over Brexit.

"I am disappointed at every Labour defeat in the local elections".

The Prime Minister sought to fight any complacency among Tories, insisting that she was "taking nothing for granted" when it comes to the General Election on June 8.

Phillips said the scale of the Eurosceptic UKIP's losses were also striking.

By calling an early national election for June 8, May has made the local votes a gauge of her leadership, and many Conservative candidates have campaigned in recent days using her campaign mantra of "strong and stable leadership".

The Liberal Democrats don't appear to be making any breakthroughs.

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The British political party that precipitated the cataclysmic Brexit vote is on course for a wipeout at the first major electoral test since the referendum.

What will have pleased Mrs May most of all was the nearly total annihilation of UKIP.

Labour took a battering, despite some high-profile victories in English mayoral contests and smaller than expected losses in Wales. And that is precisely what seems to have happened in these local elections.

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


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