McDonnell: Labour Will "Come Out Fighting" From Historic Council Election Loss

Kelly Massey
May 14, 2017

But the results will deepen the gloom of Labour members who believe their staunchly left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn - painted by the Conservatives as a high-taxing loose spender who is weak on security - is driving the party toward a resounding defeat on June 8.

The Conservative party have taken control of Warwickshire County Council, winning 36 of the 57 available seats.

After a series of stonking victories for the Conservative Party in the local elections, Theresa May has said she "will not take anything for granted" as her rival admitted: "we've got four weeks to get our message out".

All 88 councils in England, Wales and Scotland have declared their final results and at latest count the Conservatives have a net gain of 558 councillors, Labour are down 320 and the Lib Dems down 37.

But its overall vote share of 18 per cent was their best result in any election since entering a coalition with the Tories in 2010, and put them nine points behind Labour on 27 per cent. The party courted controversy during its campaign with suggestions it would ban the burka, a covering worn by some Muslim women.

Ian Lavery, Labour's national campaigns coordinator, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme it had been "a particularly difficult" set of elections for his party, which had suffered from the collapse of the Ukip vote.

As of Friday afternoon, May's Conservatives gained more than 560 seats total and control of 11 new councils.

But the results, which come after several polls indicating a big Tory lead over Labour in general election terms, will surely give the prime minister a big boost.

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"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 eleven point Tory lead in the 1987 general election was nearly double the six point lead they got in the locals just a month before".

But instead of taking a lap of honour, he played down the party's success, warning that there was no guarantee that the local election results would translate into Westminster seats next month.

The Liberal Democrats performance has been mixed. It lost 143 seats, every one it was defending so far.

Local election results are nowhere near being a ideal predictor of how people will vote in a general election - not every area of the country voted, and lots of people who do vote in a general election don't bother to turn out for local races, so the effects are never identical.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron claimed only his party could prevent a Conservative "coronation", despite its failure to make a hoped-for breakthrough in its former South West stronghold.

Labour also won Liverpool City Region where former MP Steve Rotherham became mayor. "But we, the whole Labour movement and the British people, can t afford not to seize our moment".

The main opposition Labour Party took a beating, losing scores of local councilors nationwide and suffering losses in its long-time stronghold of Wales.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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