Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 05.37.53Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 05.38.05ConservativeHome local and national elections newslinks special

England 1) Metropolitan Counties and Boroughs: A bad night for Corbyn’s Labour, but less bad than many expected

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 07.47.03“MPs fear that – once all votes have been counted today – Labour will be the first opposition since 1985 to lose English council seats at an election…the party could lose control of English councils including Redditch, Dudley, Cannock Chase, Southampton and Plymouth, though Mr Corbyn’s allies said they were confident of performing well in some areas, such as London…Leaked Labour local government analysis of results dating back to 1974 shows the average council election gains for an opposition party in a non-general election year is 434 seats.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour vote falls by six per cent, but it retains control of Crawley, Southampton, Norwich and Hastings – Financial Times
  • Conservatives hold Trafford, Labour gains in Stockport but falls back in Bury. Was the Jewish vote decisive – Manchester Evening News
  • Labour holds on to Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Cannock Chase & Redditch, and gains in Birmingham…but loses control in Dudley – Birmingham Mail
  • Labour’s Joe Anderson re-elected as Mayor of Liverpool – Liverpool Echo
  • Labour wins only Conservative seat in South Tyneside – BBC
  • Labour holds on in Nuneaton – The Times (£)
  • Labour critics pile into Corbyn – Daily Mail
  • Burnham may quit Commons and stand for Mayor of Manchester – The Times (£)
  • The best way to ditch Corbyn is just to wait – Philip Collins, The Times (£)
  • Labour is about to discover the cost of Corbyn – John McTernan, Daily Telegraph
  • Timetable and full results – Daily Telegraph

UKIP gains in Thurrock. But will it make substantial progress overall?

“The party, which was the third biggest group after the last local election, took four seats from Labour, one from the Tories and one from an independent. The final result at the Little Thurrock Blackshots ward was won by the Conservatives by one vote over the UKIP candidate after three recounts. UKIP and the Conservatives have 17 seats each, and Labour 14.” – BBC

The Liberal Democrats lose Stockport. But will they make small steps elsewhere on the long road to recovery?

“Stockport’s Lib Dem leader Sue Derbyshire lost her seat, beaten by Labour’s Charles Stewart. Stuart Bodsworth, who had represented Cheadle Hulme South for 13 years, criticised the Lib Dems. He said he no longer believed the party could achieve “the goals I seek”. Mr Bodsworth, whose place was not up for election in the council’s electoral cycle, said: “My concern is about the Lib Dems’ ability to make a difference at a national level; not about what they have done locally.” – BBC

England 2) Khan expected to win in London.  Boff moves early to savage CCHQ’s negative campaigning against Labour’s Mayoral candidate…

boff“Mr Boff told BBC Newsnight: “It was ridiculous… I do believe it’s going to affect Conservatives at the sharp end, especially in those parts of London where there is a high Muslim population. I mentioned that I thought this was a mistake for future integration in London. If you are a London politician this is just a bizarre thing to do.” He added: “I don’t think it was a dog whistle because you can’t hear a dog whistle. Everybody could hear this. It was effectively saying that people of conservative religious views are not to be trusted and you should not share a platform with them. That’s outrageous.” – The Independent

  • Barnet chaos: hundreds turned away from the polls, Chief Rabbi unable to vote, result could be challenged in court – The Sun (£)

…While Labour prepares to spin a Khan win as a Corbyn victory

“Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of the thinktank Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) said: “So far, Labour are holding safe councils (Newcastle, Liverpool, Sunderland and Halton) – but we expect to see them losing significant numbers of seats as the night progresses. To put this in context, the last time these councils were contested Labour gained 823 seats. While a Khan victory will be spun as the story of the night, the reality is that no opposition has lost councils seats in this way for thirty years.” – The Guardian

> Yesterday: Columnist Garvan Walshe – Why anti-semitism has taken hold on the left

 England 3) Commons by-elections: Labour holds on, UKIP is second

“Councillor Gill Furniss picked up 42 per cent of the vote in Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, in a by-election triggered by her husband’s death. Ukip candidate Steven Winstone secured second place – but the party’s share of the vote fell from the General Election. Labour’s Chris Elmore was victorious in Ogmore, south Wales, with the Eurosceptic party again finishing second.” – Daily Express

> Yesterday:

Scotland: SNP win third term. But Davidson drives a Conservative recovery in its best Scottish result for decades – and the Party may displace Labour as the opposition

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 08.05.28“A reinvigorated Scottish Conservative Party make dramatic inroads after years in the wilderness. Ruth Davidson’s Tories profited at the expense of Kezia Dugdale’s Scottish Labour, which saw its share of the vote plummet on a disastrous night for the party once regarded as Scotland’s natural party of government…Ms Davidson led the Conservative revival by unexpectedly winning Edinburgh Central, where her party had been languishing in fourth position. Another highlight on a very good night for the Scottish Conservatives was their triumph in Eastwood, a seat that has been a key target for the party for many years. The good news continued for the Conservatives when John Scott held on to Ayr by the narrowest of margins from the SNP.” – Scotsman

  • Labour may come third – Herald Scotland
  • Curtice says that the SNP is not doing as well as it did five years ago and has been the victim of exaggerated expectation and “maybe a little misguided campaign talk” – BBC Scotland
  • Sturgeon gearing up for a second independence referendum – The Independent

Labour holds on in Wales, UKIP makes gains.

There are 60 seats to be decided, with 31 needed for an overall majority. A poll of voters as voting came to a close suggested that Labour will remain the largest party with 27 seats…That will mean they fall short of an overall majority and the 30 seats they won in the 2011 election. The poll also suggested Ukip would win its first Assembly seats…There has been a major result in the Rhondda as Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood beat Leighton Andrews. It was the first gain of the night as Plaid took the seat from Labour.” – Wales Online

  • “Labour still expects to be the largest party and to form a government in the next Welsh Assembly term, one of its MPs has said…Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies conceded his own seat on the South Wales Central regional list was “vulnerable” if the party picked up target constituencies such as Cardiff North and the Vale of Glamorgan.” – BBC Wales

Police launch general election fraud probe amidst claims that the Conservatives failed properly to declare their battle bus spending

Police shield“Gloucestershire Police launched a general election fraud probe today amid continued allegations the Conservative Party did not properly declare election expenses relating to its battle bus tour.  David Cameron’s party has faced a series of claims it should have declared the cost of bussing in activists to campaign for constituency candidates on local election expenses, rather than on its national return. Doing so would in some seats could have meant the party smashed election spending rules. The new probe comes after the Electoral Commission met with prosecutors to discuss an extension to the one year allowed for launching an investigation of electoral fraud complaints.” – Daily Mail

Hunt moves to end junior doctors’ strikes under cover of local elections

“The warring parties in the junior doctors dispute are set to return to the negotiating table for the first time since January after agreeing to a pause in hostilities. The government has agreed to hold off imposing the unpopular contract for five days from Monday and the BMA has agreed not to call further strikes while both sides attempt to reach a resolution to the bitter eight-month dispute. 
 The breakthrough came after a plea from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges for a truce amid few signs that either side was willing to budge from their increasingly entrenched positions. It raises the prospect of fresh talks being held at the start of next week.”

A stark warning for Osborne and the Government. Growth may halt.

OSBORNE George official“Economic growth in Britain came to a near standstill in April after the country’s dominant services sector, which covers everything from restaurants to banking, experienced its worst month in more than three years. Experts believe that the economy is now close to stalling after the UK endured a “triple-whammy” of particularly weak services growth as well as terrible figures from construction and manufacturing. Economists slashed their forecasts for economic growth yesterday after the disappointing figures.” – The Times (£)

> Today: Michael Orton on Comment – Tackling insecurity. Here’s a plan published from the Left but with solutions for the Right – and for everyone else

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – We haven’t abolished boom and bust. Yet the contest to succeed Cameron threatens to become a celebrity spending auction

Trump: Britain should leave the EU, Muslims are “destroying Europe”

“He said: “I think the migration has been a horrible thing for Europe, a lot of that was pushed by the EU. “I would say they are better off without it, personally, but I’m not making that as a recommendation, just my feeling.” The reality TV star added: “I know Great Britain very well, I know the country very well, I have a lot of investments there. “I would say that they are better off without it, but I want them to make their own decision.” – Daily Express

  • Through gritted teeth, Cameron says that Trump deserves respect, but disagrees with him about Muslims – Financial Times
  • Taking Trump seriously – Times Editorial
  • He would tear up the Pax Americana – Philip Stephens, Financial Times
  • His victory should make us appreciate Bush – Martin Kettle, The Guardian
  • His supporters are like those who back Brexit – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph

> Today: ToryDiary – Trump causes agony for many Tories – but spare a thought for Republican moderates and mainstream Labourites

News in Brief

  • Cameron targets BBC spending with demand for new powers – The Times (£)
  • Government halts broadband rollout – Daily Telegraph
  • How will support for new child refugees be funded? – Daily Mail
  • The murder of civilians continues in Syria. Assad and Russia bomb refugee camp – The Independent
  • Davis claims Cameron is delaying Chilcott to avoid embarrassing Blair during the EU referendum campaign – Daily Express
  • Philip Green rages at Frank Field over BHS pension fund demand – Financial Times
  • America launches tax evasion crackdown – The Guardian
  • Legal highs ban to start this month – The Sun (£)

And finally…

BlackwoodMcBlackwoodface piles in over BoateyMcBoatface after VaizeyMcVaizeyface does so. Jo JohnsonMcJohnsonface will decide – The Sun (£)