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Tories take traditional Labour strongholds as Ukip collapses in local vote

14 May 2017

"And the reality is that only a General Election vote for the Conservatives in 34 days' time will strengthen my hand to get the best deal for Britain from Brexit".

The figure is based on a study of all the parties' performance by Sky's election analyst, Professor Michael Thrasher.

The Conservative lead was the biggest on record for any British election survey conducted by ICM, the polling firm said.

With nearly all the results in, May's party had gained control of 11 new councils, added more than 500 new councilors and taken a plum mayoral post in the Birmingham area of central England, once strong Labour Party territory.

With numerous results now in, the Conservatives have the most reason to be cheerful: They've gained several hundred seats, as well as a shock mayoral win in Labour's North East heartland.

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A comfortable Conservative victory was perhaps inevitable in a county as traditionally blue as Kent, but even Tory chiefs might have been surprised by the magnitude of the landslide - winning 67 of the council's 81 seats. Nationalist party Plaid Cymru gained 33 seats for a total of 202 with control of one council.

In his statement, Corbyn said: "The results were mixed".

The Conservatives registered gains of over 550 seats and bagged an extra 11 councils as counting in the local polls edged towards closing point this evening. In its actual council races, the party lost a handful of seats in each of England, Wales, and Scotland.

Meanwhile, with results still coming in, UKIP had lost all 42 seats they were defending, falling "victim to its own success", according to party leader Paul Nuttall.

The prime minister has styled herself as offering the most stable leadership to take Britain through two years of tough Brexit negotiations, and she took aim at Brussels on the eve of the local elections.

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Nicola Sturgeon has said it is "ludicrous" to claim her drive for a second independence referendum could be derailed by a surge in Tory support in Scotland.

But the poll pain could continue as results feed through for Scotland, where Labour has been decimated by the SNP.

"Voters who previously voted for all three - Lib Dem, Labour and Ukip - are now seeing that what this country needs is a government with a full, working majority to negotiate a good, successful exit from the European Union and to build a stronger, fairer Britain after that", he argued.

Corbyn admitted that Labour faced a challenge on an "historic scale".

"We expected the Ukip vote to collapse to some extent but we didn't expect to annihilate the Ukip representation on county councils up and down the country".

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"People don't necessarily choose the same options in local council elections that they will when it comes to electing their member of parliament", said Phillips.