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May says not taking local election triumph for granted

May says not taking local election triumph for granted

In spite of controlling 441 seats in comparison to the Conservatives' 1,900 and Labour's 1,151, leader Tim Farron said his party should replace Labour as the main opposition group.

Turnout was low; dipping below 30 per cent in some of the polls, which were held for 88 of Britain's 418 local councils.

If that is true, May, emboldened by a large and pliant Tory party in the Commons, will do much as she pleases on everything from Brexit to immigration and foreign students - all worrying indicators for Indians and Indian corporates. In reality, it was a preview to the June 8 general election.

There have been predictions her majority could be 100, possibly even 150.

At latest count across the 23 English and Welsh counties that had fully declared results, the Tories had control of 10 authorities and 561 seats, a net gain of 155, while Labour had control of five authorities and 404 seats, a net loss of 125. Ukip results resemble a vehicle crash.

The Conservative party gained seats in Scotland, mainly at the expense of Labour, and increased their total number of councilors by 160. Labour has collapsed. They can not win the general
election.

The Tories also performed well in the mayoral elections, winning tightly-fought battles for elected mayors in the West Midlands and significantly Tees Valley, where Conservative Ben Houchen became the first elected mayor in Labour's north-eastern heartland, beating Labour's Sue Jeffrey by more than 2,000 votes in the second round of counting.

The party's vote was squeezed in Brexit-supporting parts of the country, limiting gains.

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Alan Rhodes, who was the Labor leader of Nottinghamshire county council but is now leader of the opposition group, admitted that his party was "in a hard place at the moment". "Our electoral success over recent years was a key driver in forcing the Conservatives to embrace our cause under a new Prime Minister who was campaigning for a Remain vote in the referendum a year ago".

Nuttall claimed that, if his party's hammering was down to a Tory advance driven by May's determination to leave the European Union, then it was a price he was "prepared to pay".

The local government elections in Britain this week have taken on a particular significance in terms of providing an indication of voting intentions ahead of the Westminster poll in just over a month's time. Finance spokesman John McDonnell described the results as tough, but "it hasn't been the wipe-out that some people predicted, or the polls predicted", reported the Reuters news agency.

Introduced by Labour's Chris Williamson, who lost his Derby North seat in the 2015 general election, Mr Corbyn brought his speech to a swift close saying he and his supporters "need to get out knocking on doors".

Adam Drummond, head of political polling at Opinium, said the fall-out from the Brexit result was proving less damaging to the Tories than to other parties.

Theresa May will look at the figures and feel well satisfied that her gamble in calling a snap general election is going according to plan, with not only Labour having a bad day but the Ukip vote collapsing.

"But we, the whole Labour movement and the British people, can't afford not to seize our moment".


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