Local election results in England, Scotland and Wales: Here's how the parties stand right now
Voters in local and mayoral elections took to the polls in many parts of the UK on Thursday. Results are beginning to trickle in from Wales and England, although the counting in Scotland will not begin until 9am.
We take a look at where the parties stand with results available from 17 of the 88 councils up for grabs.
Tories set to clean up
So far, the Tories have added 108 seats to their pot, with 429 in total.
In Warwickshire, the Tories gained control as Labour’s representation collapsed from 22 to 10, while in Lincolnshire the Conservatives benefited from Ukip being wiped out.
In a sign of the problems facing Labour in England, a campaign visit to Harlow by Jeremy Corbyn the week before the vote failed to boost support in the Essex town, traditionally viewed as a bellwether seat, with the Tories winning a clean sweep on their way to retaining control in the county.
The party also gained control in Somerset.
Labour facing heavy losses
It hasn’t been a good night for Labour so far. The party is down 58 seats currently with a total of 230. Many of these losses were made in its Welsh heartlands.
Independents took control in Blaenau Gwent, and the result is on a knife-edge in Merthyr Tydfil – where the final three seats will be declared on June 8 with Labour needing to win them all to retain a majority.
Labour’s election co-ordinator Andrew Gwynne acknowledged there were “challenges” for the party as it struggled in the south Wales valleys and failed to resist Tory advances in England.
The party also lost its majority in Bridgend, dropping from 39 seats to 26 as the Tories and independents took 11 and 13 respectively. The area is a stronghold of First Minister and Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones, so the result is bound to be disappointing.
As the first results began to trickle in after Thursday’s vote, shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner said: “It’s never good to hear that we are losing seats.”
However, all was not lost in Wales. Early results in Cardiff and Swansea appeared to be successful for the party.
Mixed results for the Liberal Democrats
The Lib Dems were having a mixed election night, failing to prevent the Tories retaining control in Somerset, but making inroads in other areas.
Tim Farron’s party are down nine seats so far, with a total of 111.
Although the Lib Dems failed to prevent the Tories retaining Somerset, former Wells MP Tessa Munt defeated the Conservative council leader while in Eastleigh in Hampshire ex-MP Mike Thornton secured one of three gains from Ukip.
Ukip takes a battering
At 6am, Ukip had failed to win a single seat, with voters switching to the Tories in a pattern which could provide a major boost to Theresa May as she hopes to strengthen her grip on power on June 8.
Minor success for the Greens
The Greens have seen modest gains so far, up by four seats with a total of 10.