Local council results in England and Wales:
Conservatives: 1,899 councillors – + 563.
Labour: 1,152 councillors – – 382.
Liberal Democrats: 441 councillors – – 42.
UKIP: One councillor – – 145.
Plaid Cymru: 202 councillors – + 33
– – – – – – – – – –
The Conservatives gained –
- Derbyshire from Labour.
- East Sussex from NOC.
- Cambridgeshire from NOC.
- Norfolk from NOC.
- Lincolnshire from NOC.
- Warwickshire from NOC.
- Gloucestershire from NOC.
- Monmouthshire from NOC.
The Tories also won mayoral elections in the West Midlands and Teesside that Labour might have been expected to win.
Labour lost control of seven councils, including Glasgow, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil. However, Andy Burnham won big in Manchester’s mayoral election.
The Liberal Democrats failed to win Somerset – and did not succeed in getting the breakthrough that they had hoped for (though they defeated the Conservative leaders in Somerset and Dorset).
Only one UKIP candidate was elected as a councillor.
– – – – – – – – – –
In summary –
- The Conservatives won 38 per cent of the vote nationwide, also gaining 164 seats across Scotland. John Curtice writes that it was the best Tory election night since 2008.
- Labour won 27 per cent of the vote, having won 29 per cent of the vote in 2013 – the equivalent of these elections during the last parliamentary cycle.
- The Liberal Democrats won 18 per cent of the vote – up four per cent since 2013, which was nowhere near the whopping 13 per cent rise in the Tory vote since that year.
- And UKIP won five per cent of the vote – as much as 18 points down.
All this is consistent with the snapshot we offered yesterday morning, of what we call Theresa May’s Great Patriotic Election strategy, whereby –
- Former Labour voters move first to UKIP and then en masse to the Conservatives (via Vote Leave)…
- …Labour voters don’t turn out or leak support elsewhere…
- …And the Liberal Democrats fail to persuade Tory Remain voters to jump ship in enough numbers.
Obviously, is impossible to say whether or not this plan, which worked effectively yesterday, will still be working in a month.
It may be that Labour voters turn out in greater numbers on June 8…
…But it may also be that voters who back the Conservatives do, too – and that Labour ones who were prepared to support their local councillor or Mayoral candidate will draw the line at backing Jeremy Corbyn.
What does CCHQ think? You will find out during the next few weeks by watching which seats May visits (we gather that she is due to visit Leicester, which may be a straw in the wind); and by observing which constituencies CCHQ is targeting with, say, wrap-around newspaper adverts (see some of his tweets on Thursday, for example here).
All in all, there is reason at present to think that the Tory majority will be increased significantly if not substantially – maybe even sensationally. At any rate, that’s what senior Ministers are saying in private, even if they are saying the opposite in public.