Published: Sun, May 06, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

Local elections: Theresa May not 'an electoral failure', says pollster

Local elections: Theresa May not 'an electoral failure', says pollster

No clear party victor has emerged following Thursday's local elections in England, according to a BBC News report on Saturday.

The centre-right party held on to key London councils despite a big push by Labour, the main opposition, which failed to live up to its own hype. Lib Dems gained 55, Greens five and the U.K. Independence Party lost 122.

But Labour admitted "mixed" results despite a tough week for May, who has been plagued by cabinet divisions over Brexit as well as a row over immigration that toppled one of her top ministers. "Therefore, above all, it seems to me that what the Conservative Party has to be able to do in the coming weeks and months is to deliver on Brexit in a way that will satisfy the aspirations of "Leave" voters".

But it failed to gain any London boroughs from the Tories despite a concerted campaign in the capital.

In London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle every council seat was up for election and the results there give a more complete picture of the political situation compared to the 100 or so other council areas where only a third were contested.

In Adur, the Conservatives won nine seats, Labour took four and one independent was elected.

Voting decides more than 4,400 council seats, determining the makeup of 150 local government authorities who are responsible for the day-to-day provision of public services.

Labour's projected 35% is the party's best performance in a projected national share since 2012 when it scored 38%.

Despite retaining overall control, the Conservatives lost individual seats in Westminster and Wandsworth.

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The Conservatives appeared to have benefited from the collapse of UKIP, which was instrumental in the Brexit vote but has since lost its way.

North East Lincolnshire was a Labour target before the election, and they will have been disappointed not to take control of the council.

Labour failed to take control of the Barnet council in northwest London from the Conservative Party, where 14 percent of the population is Jewish, with some party activists blaming the anti-Semitism scandal as a contributing factor in its loss.

"I think some of the predictions about the outcome (have been) a bit wild, but we will be campaigning across the country, as we have been, to return more Labour councillors and have more Labour councils to protect people from the impact of Tory (Conservative) austerity", a Labour spokesman said.

Redbridge's Conservative group are set to appoint a new leader after losing half of their seats to Labour in May 3's local elections. We won Plymouth from the Tories, who lost control of Trafford, their flagship northern council.

Perhaps more important for the future will be the areas that voted more narrowly to Leave the European Union - within a 50-55% margin - such as Colchester, Southampton and Worcester.

He said Mr Corbyn did not understand the problem and called on the Labour leader to visit the borough to apologise to the local party.

Defeated councillor Adam Langleban wrote on Twitter: "We must NEVER have another election like this".

Against a backdrop of heightened expectations for the Labour Party, the ballot also showed the limitations of its recent resurgence under veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn.

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