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
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The Conservatives gained –
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.
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In summary –
All this is consistent with the snapshot we offered yesterday morning, of what we call Theresa May’s Great Patriotic Election strategy, whereby –
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.