May avoids London wipeout as United Kingdom local elections deliver mixed results

The Liberal Democrats gained dozens of councillors across the country

The Liberal Democrats gained dozens of councillors across the country

Supporters of the British Conservative Party react during the count at Wandsworth Town Hall after local government elections in London, Britain, May 4, 2018.

BOTH Labour and the Conservatives declared themselves "delighted" with Thursday's Local Election results in Wirral - despite neither party actually making any gains.

The elections are viewed as a gauge of public support for May as she faces a possible revolt in parliament over her strategy for leaving the European Union.

After the results she spoke about how she felt the night had gone. The vote may be supposed to be about local issues - schools, planning, trash collection - but many people see them as an opportunity to kick the party in national power.

Labour had 52 per cent of the vote, Conservatives 27 per cent and Lib Dems 10 per cent.

They also made gains in Witham by defeating Labour's Jane Loffhagen, and in Birchwood where Alan Briggs beat the serving Labour Councillor Paul Gowen. The council has been run by the Conservatives since the time of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, when it was a symbol of the late leader's low-tax policies.

Theresa May's party appeared to have benefited from an nearly total collapse in the Ukip vote, which saw the Eurosceptic party shed councillors across the country.

Speaking to Sky News, Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell played down suggestions his party should have been enjoying a more dominant night.

Other smaller parties had a better run.

The Conservatives also held the symbolic council of Westminster, London's political district, indicating that the final scale of losses in the capital would come in at the lower end of the predicted range.

In Sheffield, where the council's ruling Labour group has suffered heavy criticism over its controversial tree-felling programme, Labour lost four seats, including two to the Liberal Democrats and two to the Greens, but gained a seat from the struggling Ukip. The borough has a large Jewish community.

The Conservatives have gained Basildon and Peterborough, which had both been under no overall control.

UKIP has suffered leadership issues and struggled for a new goal since achieving its primary political aim at the 2016 Brexit referendum when Britons chose to leave the EU.

Labour gained two of the 13 seats up for election, Drayton and Abbey North, which were previously held by UKIP.

"Pallion in particular I have to highlight, as just months ago it was the leader's ward and in the space of however many months it's now a majority Lib Dem ward with our strongest vote share in the city".

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