Labour losing seats and councils as early result emerge
COUNCIL ELECTION results in England and Wales are beginning to paint a national picture of the standing of parties as early results come in.
The results from 23 of 34 English councils facing the electorate this year show the Conservatives significantly improving their position, Labour slumping, the Liberal Democrats failing to make breakthroughs and UKIP facing wipe-out.
As of 8am this morning (Friday 5 May), the Conservative party had increased their number of seats by 150 seats, gaining control of five councils.
Labour suffered a net loss of 119 seats and two councils.
UKIP have lost 41 seats so far, retaining none.
The Liberal Democrats have lost 29 seats, with one party official describing the party’s performance as “patchy”.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell accepted that the council elections had been a “tough night” for the party, but also said that Labour had not faced the wipe-out predicted by some polling. He said that greater exposure for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign in the run up to the General Election on 8 June would draw more support to the party.
However, the party has lost seats in some Welsh heartlands, like Merthyr Tydfil and Blaenau Gwent, where it lost control of the council to independents.
Though the results may point to general trends in the General Elections, they have less bearing on trends in Scotland, where party trends have substantially departed from England and Wales since the Scottish independence referendum in 2014.
The failure of the Liberal Democrats to break through, combined with Labour losses, may suggest that the Leave vote is more cohesive and stronger than a post EU referendum Remain vote, though the demographics of local elections are not wholly representative of those in other elections. Additionally, the results remain partial.
Scottish results are being counted and will begin to come in in the afternoon.
CommonSpace will be covering the results and providing analysis throughout the day.
Picture courtesy of Chris Beckett
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