May's Conservatives Take Early Victories in U.K. Local Elections

The main opposition Labour Party took a beating, shedding some 300 local councilors nationwide and suffering losses in long-time heartlands including industrial south Wales and northeast England.

Fallon's faux gloom reflects the Conservatives' biggest fear ahead of the general election - that their victory will be such a foregone conclusion that supporters will not bother to vote.

After a week that began with a public spat with the European Union over Brexit negotiations, May's Conservative Party emerged the big winners in a set of United Kingdom local elections that were the first electoral test of her tough stance.

Labour won three seats on KCC in total, down from 13 in 2013, which is surely an indication of public perception of party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Labour finance spokesman John McDonnell acknowledged the party had suffered a tough night, but told ITV that the results were not "the wipeout that people expected" and insisted it is still "all to play for" in the national vote.

The Lib Dems had 195 seats, a net loss of 24.

A Nottingham politics expert has said the Nottinghamshire County Council election result is a "reflection of the national situation" and believes voters now have "no enthusiasm" for Labour five weeks before the general election.

Ukip has finally won a seat in the local elections after losing all of its previous ones.

London did not vote in this set of local elections, so the results tell us little about how voters in the constituencies most heavily opposed to Brexit will behave in the general election. The party is down 80 seats now with a total of 396, losing control of three councils, Glasgow City, Blaenau Gwent and Bridgend.

For the party's leader, Paul Nuttall, UKIP is a "victim of its own success".

Dr Mokhefi-Ashton added: "The current situation for Labour is very tricky as the party is split on so many issues - the million dollar question is about leadership and there is great pressure on Corbyn to stand down".

"And county council seats that were in traditionally Tory territory have gone back to the Tories".

It was also a disappointing night for the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats who are hoping to mount a comeback on June 8.

UKIP, without a single MP at Westminster following the defection of Douglas Carswell, has been left with just one council seat, leaving pundits wondering whether the party is finished.

In the contests for new metro-mayors, Conservative Tim Bowles defeated Labour's Lesley Mansell in the run-off for the West of England post, covering Bristol and Bath.

Election staff count ballot papers for the local elections at the Emirates Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland, Friday May 5, 2017.

In Scotland, which since the late 1990s has largely shunned the governing party, early results showed the Conservatives gaining to the detriment of both Labour and, to a lesser extent, the Scottish National Party, which still looked likely to win the lion's share of votes overall.

  • Leroy Wright