Local elections 2018: Labour 'quietly satisfied', Tom Watson says

Faith Castro
May 7, 2018

British Prime Minister Theresa May (L) leaves the Methodist Central Hall with her husband Philip May after voting in the local council elections in London, Britain on May 3, 2018. However, whereas in 2013, 2014, and 2016 the party was estimated to be narrowly ahead of the Conservatives, this time it is only neck and neck with them.

"The Conservative Party has been reminded tonight that the electorate that it now has is disproportionately a "Leave" electorate", polling expert John Curtice told the.

Former Labour cllr Lloyd Duddridge came 13 votes shy of gaining a third place seat, winning 1,593 votes to Cllr Robin Turbefield's 1,605. They do not affect seats in parliament, where May has only a slim working majority thanks to a deal with a smaller party.

With nearly all the votes counted, Labour had won 2,310 seats, an increase of 59, but suffered a net loss of one council, while the Conservatives won 1,330 seats, down 31, with a net loss of two councils.

Both May and Corbyn were pictured casting their ballots early on Thursday morning.

But the Liberal Democrats enjoyed success, ousting the Tories in Richmond upon Thames in south-west London - leader Sir Vince Cable's back yard - and neighbouring Kingston while a more unexpected victory came for the party in South Cambridgeshire.

In final online campaign videos, May said her party was delivering local services whilst keeping taxes low.

Mr Corbyn said his party had put in a "solid" performance and was now well on the way to being able to form the next government.

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May's party could lose control of some of the eight London boroughs it now runs out of 32 in total. But what can be made of the results across the country that have seen Labour make gains in terms of numbers of councillors but share the same vote share of 35% as the Conservative Party. This would reflect both weariness over cutbacks that affect citizens' daily lives and broader issues like Brexit and the treatment of migrants.

The Conservatives now hold 12 seats to The Labour Party's 51, while The Liberal Democrat Party were wiped out of Redbridge's 63-seat chamber altogether.

Holding Conservative strongholds in London's Westminster and Wandsworth boroughs is seen as the dividing line between a bad day and a awful day for May.

The outcome outside the capital is likely to be less clear-cut.

But May's party lost control of the highly prized council in the Trafford area of the northern city of Manchester - its only foothold in an important Labour-dominated economic region where the Conservatives have spent years trying to win support.

As well as anti-Semitism, Mr Corbyn's response to the chemical weapons attack in Syria and the Salisbury poisoning were also questioned by senior figures in the party.

But in recent weeks May's ratings have been boosted by her handling of national and global crises such as her decision to take military action in Syria and a row with Moscow over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in southern England. May is also negotiating an exit from the European Union that 60 percent of the capital rejected at the 2016 Brexit referendum.

The near-total collapse of Ukip boosted the Conservatives outside London and other big cities, especially in parts of England which voted heavily for Brexit in the 2016 election.

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