Theresa May's party secures big gains in local elections

"This is not about who wins and who loses in the local elections: it is about continuing to fight for the best Brexit deal".

"Not a single vote has been cast in that election yet, and none of the votes cast yesterday will count on June 8 in the General Election".

It is hard to see Ukip coming back from this humiliating showing but more importantly it is Labour that finds itself in a bleak position just weeks before a Westminster poll.

The Conservative party gained seats in Scotland, mainly at the expense of Labour, and increased their total number of councilors by 160.

He said: "What we've got to do is be much more effective in cutting through, over this next five weeks, that's our challenge isn't it?"

The other parties, Labour, Liberal Democrats and U.K. Independence Party, lost ground.

What all this means for Northern Ireland is that Mrs May will feel her hand has been strengthened and she will stick to her hardline stance on the European Union and the post-Brexit arrangements that are causing deep anxiety to people on both sides of the border.

In Scotland, the SNP made modest gains, although there was also a surge for the Conservatives.

A weird scene was played out in north-east England's Northumberland County Council, after the final seat was decided by drawing straws.

Many results are yet to be declared, including Scottish councils and mayorals, but there is likely to be some cheer for Labour when the party wins new metro mayors in Greater Manchester, Liverpool and potentially the tightly fought battle in the West Midlands.

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More than 4,000 seats were up for grabs on Thursday in local councils in Scotland, Wales and many parts of England, as well as mayoral competitions in several cities.

The local elections may not be an exact guide to the general election result but for Labour politicians they have provided either proof of an electoral defeat foretold or an opportunity to mitigate it.

In Tees Valley, Conservative Ben Houchen won after a run-off against Labour's Sue Jeffrey and Conservative Tim Bowles was declared the victor in the West of England.

Opinion polls suggest May has a runaway lead in the national election of around 20 percentage points, which could give her over a 100 more seats in parliament.

The final results released Friday show that the centre-right party won 1,900 seats, up 558, while the main opposition, Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, lost 320 to end up with 1,151. "But we, the whole Labour movement and the British people, can't afford not to seize our moment".

As long as Jeremy Corbyn is in power, they say, Labour will not be receiving their vote, as the Chippenham native just does not "speak for them".

Liberal Democrats had a mixed election.

Wells said: "Don't just assume that the projected overall shares of the vote at this week's votes are going to be repeated in next month's election".

"Don't wake on up on June 9 to see celebrations from the tax cheats, the press barons, the greedy bankers, Philip Green, the Southern Rail directors and crooked bankers that take our wealth, who have got away with it because the party they own, the Conservative Party, has won". "I'm hoping that having good, strong community leaders overrides any national swings - that is what I'm hoping for me and my Labour colleagues", she said.

  • Sonia Alvarado