British PM boosted by local election results ahead of key vote

Polls close in local elections weeks ahead of national vote

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".

He said: "The result of the council elections is obviously a reflection of the national situation - people across the country have no enthusiasm for voting Labour".

The Conservatives also did well in the vote for six metropolitan area mayors.

Scotland will only start its vote count at 9am on Friday (5 May).

There are 75 seats up for grabs, with 38 of them needed by a single party for it to have a controlling majority.

The Liberal Democrats, who were hoping to win voters from other parties with their clear, anti-Brexit message, failed to make inroads in the face of the Conservative tide.

After declarations from around 1,000 of the almost 5,000 seats in Thursday's elections, the Conservatives had gained more than 100, Labour had lost about 60 and UKIP had lost all of the 30 seats it held at the previous elections.

"We have defied the pundits to deliver some extremely strong results across Wales - holding Cardiff, Newport, Torfaen and Neath Port Talbot, retaining control with gains in Flintshire and, against a Tory onslaught, increasing our majority in Swansea".

The main opposition Labour Party has just over 320 seats for a net loss of more than 110, while the U.K. Independence Party lost all 41 of the seats it held where results were announced.

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The Liberal Democrats increased their seats by one, moving from 15 to 16, while the number of independent councillors fell from seven to five.

John McDonnell said the results were "tough" and apologised to his party's councillors who had lost their seats, but he then went on to blame unbalanced media coverage for Labour's plight.

Ukip's vote collapsed, with the eurosceptic party's supporters apparently defecting in swathes to the Conservatives.

It is UKIP voters returning to the Conservatives that will have a significant impact on the General Election.

Many UKIP voters appear to have switched allegiance to the Conservative Party, which has adopted an increasingly hardline approach to Britain's exit from the European Union.

Ukip again has no seats, having lost two of its seats held previously.

Also on Friday afternoon, Labour's Steve Rotheram was elected as the first "metro mayor" of the Liverpool City Region.

Asked if she had killed off Ukip, she replied: "I think if we look at what's happened in the local elections we have taken votes from across the whole of the political spectrum".

Most dramatically, it lost ground in Scotland, where the Conservatives - long all-but-extinct there - made gains.

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