Labour’s hopes of preventing a Tory landslide in next month’s general election have suffered a demoralising blow after a day of losses in local elections.
In a bad result for Jeremy Corbyn’s party has lost more than 380 council seats. Meanwhile, the Conservatives won several metro-mayor contests incluing West Midlands and the West of England.
Theresa May’s party also gained control of 11 more councils on an encouraging night for the Prime Minister.
Paul Nuttall’s Ukip only managing to hold onto a single seat.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party had done better than expected in some places, such as Cardiff and Swansea, but results elsewhere had been “very disappointing”.
“Of course I’m disappointed, we have to get our supporters out to vote in June, we have to get our message across and I’m utterly determined to do that,” he said.
Asked whether he was the right person to do that, he said: “I’ve been elected and I’m very proud to be elected leader of the party twice in the past two years. This is my third summer on the road, and I’m loving every moment of it.”
Polling expert John Curtice, of Strathclyde University, said that if the council results in so far were reflected at next month’s general election, Theresa May would win a bigger majority – but probably not enough to get the landslide she was hoping for.
The 11-point Tory lead over Labour in the projected national share is smaller than their 17% average lead in recent opinion polls, he added, but he cautioned against reading too much into the projections.
The figures are what the share of the vote would be if all parts of Britain had local elections and had voted in the same way as Thursday’s English county council elections.