UK Conservative lead stays strong ahead of June election: Opinium poll

UK Conservative lead stays strong ahead of June election: Opinium poll

UK Conservative lead stays strong ahead of June election: Opinium poll

Ballot boxes are assembled as election count staff tally ballot papers for the local election in Chelmsford, Britain, Thursday May 4, 2017.

"If there is an increasingly confrontational attitude between Westminster and Brussels, the [local election] results today suggest that Theresa May is the political victor domestically of that process", said Al Jazeera's Phillips.

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

May said after the results came through: "Only a general election vote for the Conservatives will strengthen my hand to get the best deal on Brexit".

Tories were celebrating historic gains across the country, picking up more than 450 councillors and gaining control of 10 authorities as they made deep inroads into parts of Scotland and Wales which had been no-go areas for a generation.

But given that Labour is the sitting party in 66 of the 71 seats that could change hands purely on a UKIP to Conservative swing, and Labour is now polling worse than it was in 2015, if anything this is likely to underestimate the number of seats the Conservatives could pick up.

But the results were widely seen as vindication both for her tough line on Brexit - threatening to walk away from talks with the remaining European Union if she can not get a good deal - as well as her decision to call a snap election.

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.

Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos Mori, told Reuters: "The Conservatives are starting the campaign matching the biggest lead we have ever recorded for them during an election campaign, which was back in 1983 ahead of Thatcher's victory". In its actual council races, the party lost a handful of seats in each of England, Wales, and Scotland.

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Labour took a battering, despite some high-profile victories in English mayoral contests and smaller than expected losses in Wales.

Leader Jeremy Corbyn described the results as "mixed" and insisted they were "closing the gap" on the Conservatives.

"Don't just assume that the projected overall shares of the vote at this week's votes are going to be repeated in next month's election: people vote differently for different reasons at different sorts of election".

Labour has lost more than 300 council seats, UKIP has suffered heavy losses and the Lib Dems have not make the gains they had hoped for.

Liberal Democrats increased their number by one and Labour lost two, with Ukip losing the lot.

Since then it has suffered something of an identity crisis post-referendum, with voters clearly struggling to see a objective for Ukip after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

Labour remain the biggest party on Bridgend council, with 26 seats, but the Conservatives, who only had one seat, now have 11.

For Ukip, it was an unqualified disaster, which could herald the end of the anti-EU party, which now has no MPs and a handful of councillors and will have no MEPs after Brexit.

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