Published: Mon, May 08, 2017
Business | By Cristina Jennings

UK Conservatives extend lead in ORB poll ahead of national election

How bad is it for Labour?

Labour must "come out fighting" after what has been a "terrible" 48 hours for the party, John McDonnell has said.

In a statement, he accepted they had lost "too many" councillors and now faced a huge challenge if they were to regain power.

With about a quarter of the votes counted, May's party had gained control of five councils, added more than 100 new councilors and taken the new position of mayor for the city of Bristol and surrounding area in western England.

"That's why Jeremy Corbyn's got to step up to the plate".

The redrawn boundaries make it hard to say just how much better the Conservatives did in Cambridgeshire than in 2013, but the BBC estimates a like-for-like increase of 8 seats.

"The local elections proved that the Labour Party is finished and the Conservative Party is heading for a landslide", he said.

Pollsters YouGov ask panels of voters whether they have a favourable or unfavourable view of the main parties and their leaders.

The Tories have 464 councillors, a net gain of 125, while Labour has 322, a net loss of 65.

It put the Conservatives on 38 percent, Labour on 27 percent, the Liberal Democrats on 18 percent and UKIP on five percent.

Ukip lost 109 councillors, while holding a solitary seat in Lancashire - causing leader Paul Nuttall to describe Ukip as a "victim of its own success" over Brexit.

In an exclusive interview with Sky News, Mr Corbyn was asked whether he would stand down as Labour leader in those circumstances.

Anything is possible, of course, but historical precedent is not on Labour's side here.

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Derbyshire, despite having no UKIP seats before or after the election, saw the collapse in the UKIP vote contribute to an incredible 19-seat swing from Labour to the Conservatives.

That came less than a year after Scots voted 55 per cent to 45 per cent to remain in the United Kingdom and the nationalists went on to build support up to unprecedented levels.

How do today's results change the General Election forecasts?

The local election results have confounded election logic which is that the party in government tends to do badly at mid-term local elections.

The survey of 2,005 adults carried out on 2 and 3 May found an increase in numbers of voters who disapprove of May's performance as Prime Minister, up from 31 per cent to 33 per cent.

The tax move came as Mrs May announced plans to revamp mental health legislation to end one of the "burning injustices" which she identified in her first speech as Prime Minister last July.

As a barometer for the June vote, the local election result, far from being "an emphatic victory", is an unmitigated disaster for the SNP.

"I was Remain for a long time, because I felt like what I was reading wasn't telling me anything", said Lisa, a 43-year-old mum-of-two.

Elections expert John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, said Ukip, which won 3.8 million votes at the 2015 general election, had lost "everything they've been trying to defend".

It's been a mixed bag for Tim Farron's party - they failed to break through against the Tories in the south-west England battleground but made advances in some General Election target seats like Eastleigh and Wells. The Lib Dems just edged the popular vote (12625 to 12520) but Labour won slightly more seats (7 to 5).

But remember that this number isn't the same as a prediction of what will happen in June.

It made for a nervy few hours for Mr Mathew before the result was declared.

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