Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Corbyn spells out "historic challenge" facing Labour as council losses near 400

Corbyn spells out

Abbott said overall the morning's results had been "disappointing" but stressed "you can not extrapolate from local elections to the general." .

Election count staff tally ballot papers for the local election in Chelmsford, Britain, Thursday May 4, 2017.

Some 52% of Labour voters who have quit the party since the last election said they would return if Mr Corbyn stood down as leader.

John Curtice, a professor of politics at Strathclyde University, said the Conservatives were on course for their best local-election result in at least a decade, and possibly a quarter-century.

Mrs May's party had 1,900 councillors, a net gain of 558, while Labour had 1,151, a net loss of 320.

The Liberal Democrats saw their share of the vote recover to about 18 per cent, but failed to make the breakthrough they hoped for in terms of seats.

Given the current state of the polls, "it seems unthinkable that the Conservatives could fail to win on June 8", says the Daily Telegraph.

In Dorset, Conservatives retained control although leader Robert Gold lost his seat to the Liberal Democrats. We know this is no small task, it is a challenge on a historic scale.

UKIP lost all eight seats on the council.

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The Tories have gained massive ground from the UKIP and Labour but the party has chosen to strike a note of caution to prevent its prospective MPs becoming too complacent in the general election campaign.

As Ukip shed 107 councillors while holding a solitary seat in Lancashire, leader Paul Nuttall said the party was "a victim of its own success" over Brexit.

Voters across England, Scotland and Wales went to the polls Thursday to choose almost 5,000 new local councilors, in the shadow of campaigning for the snap June 8 general election and a bitter debate over Britain's departure from the European Union.

After a series of stonking victories for the Conservative Party in the local elections, Theresa May has said she "will not take anything for granted" as her rival admitted: "we've got four weeks to get our message out".

Boost for Lib Dems in Hampshire, where ex-MP Mike Thornton in Eastleigh secured one of three gains from Ukip.

May has a working majority of less than 20 seats in the 650-seat parliament but polling analysts have predicted she could increase that number by as many as 100 at the June 8 election.

The Conservatives have made gains while nearly all the other parties have lost ground.

UKIP deputy chairwoman Suzanne Evans acknowledged the party faces a "difficult dilemma".

"If the Labour, Lib Dem and Green vote is split then Conservatives will win", he warned.

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