Local elections bring cheer for Theresa May

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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.

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

And UKIP's four county councillors have also lost their seats.

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

Conservatives won the West of England metro mayor contest and topped the first round of voting in the West Midlands, while Labour claimed the mayoralties in Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Doncaster and North Tyneside.

The Conservatives swept to victory, winning 11 new seats in the west of the county and eight more in the east.

Significantly, former Ukip backers appeared to have swung behind her call for a "mandate for Brexit".

"That has come as a surprise to many people", he told KoS.

One success the party will be stressing is retaining Welsh seats in Swansea, Cardiff and Newport councils, the latter of which the party will say was a Tory target.

"This wasn't because of a lack of work, we've all worked very hard".

"All of my 81 candidates worked exceptionally hard and I send enormous thanks to all their friends, families and volunteers who supported them". We [the party] had so much to prove.

The Scottish National Party, who are seeking another referendum on independence on the back of Brexit, won 431 seats, up 31.

She conceded that "some of those UKIP voters that are going to the Tories are former Labour voters", and said that in a general election "we have to turn them out and get them to vote Labour".

The survey, carried out before this week's big Conservative victory in local elections, put the Liberal democrats on 9 percent and the anti-EU UKIP on 7 percent.

Up for grabs was control of County Hall, West Bridgford, and public services outside of the Nottingham city boundary.

"We have collective responsibility on the big decisions".

In the local elections, the Conservatives secured 39% of the vote compared to Labour on 36% and the then parties that were to later form the basis of the Lib Dems on 20%.

The Prime Minister sought to fight any complacency in Tory ranks, insisting she was "taking nothing for granted" in an election she hopes will strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations with Brussels.

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