Local elections 2017 results live: Tories prosper, Ukip obliterated, Labour humiliated

Jack Maidment
Theresa May visited a Conservative campaign phone bank and spoke to voters on Thursday evening before polls closed - Steve Back Photographer 07884436717 ; steve@steveback.com

UK Council Elections Results

The prospect of a sweeping Conservative General Election victory increased this morning after early local election results showed Labour suffering losses across the country and Ukip's vote share collapsing.

Theresa May's party has made significant gains in Wales and England,  just weeks before the country goes to the polls to decide whether she or Jeremy Corbyn takes the keys to Number 10.

Ukip faces being wiped out at the ballot box after failing to hold onto a single seat at the local elections, with the Tories picking up support - a trend which would boost Mrs May's chances of strengthening her grip on power on June 8.

Local election: Council seats defended by each party

Paul Nuttall's party lost all its seats in Lincolnshire, Hampshire and Essex, all key battlegrounds for Ukip at next month's General Election.

The Tories have won control of five councils, including Lincolnshire, while Labour have lost two councils in Blaenau Gwent and Bridgend. 

Labour is braced for more heavy losses, with Mr Corbyn's party and election co-ordinator Andrew Gwynne acknowledging there were "challenges" for the party.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn Credit: Tolga Akmen/LNP

Barry Gardiner, the shadow international trade secretary, admitted that it had been a “really disappointing night”. 

Lisa Duffy, a former Ukip leadership contender, conceded that it had been a “disappointing night” for the party, “especially in Lincolnshire and Essex”. 

Thousands of voters across England, Scotland and Wales went to the polls on Thursday to decide the fate of almost 5,000 council seats and to elect six powerful new metro mayors.

New metro mayors are set to be elected in six new super-regions-  Tim Bowles has already secured the West of England mayoralty for the Tories. 

7:39AM

McDonnell: 'Its been a tough night'

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell acknowledged that Labour had suffered a "tough" night as it struggled in some of its Welsh heartlands and failed to resist Tory advances in England.

But he told ITV1's Good Morning Britain the results were not "the wipeout that people expected" and insisted it is still "all to play for" in the General Election in just five weeks' time.

John McDonnell  Credit: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

7:18AM

Labour holds Torfaen

Labour retain control of Torfaen, winning 29 of 44 seats.

6:54AM

Labour holds Swansea

Labour retained control of Swansea, increasing its majority by one in winning 48 of 72 seats.

Labour has retained overall control of Swansea, boosting its majority by winning an extra seat.

Shadow Welsh secretary Christina Rees MP claimed Labour had "defied the pundits" to deliver some strong results across Wales.

She said:

Although there are still results coming in, it's clear from what we know so far that the predicted Tory advance in Wales has simply failed to materialise...

"It's obviously been a difficult night for Welsh Labour in Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil, and it's always a blow to lose hard working Welsh Labour councillors.

Ms Rees pointed to Mr Scully's comments on the big picture for Wales and added:

Though many counts are still to take place, the clear message from tonight is large swathes of Wales rejecting the Tories and voting Welsh Labour to stop them from walking all over Wales.

6:53AM

Nothing to 'crow' about

Sir Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, has insisted the Tories were not complacent about the General Election despite the "encouraging progress" in the local contests.

He told ITV's Good Morning Britain:

The reason we are not crowing is there is nothing yet, really, to crow about.

Only a quarter of the votes have been counted and the turnout is only half what you get in a general election.

So it is far too early to predict - even from last night - what is going to happen by the end of today and it is five more weeks to the General Election.

6:44AM

'A neutral night for the Lib Dems'

Lib Dem former business secretary Sir Vince Cable called the night "neutral" for his party.

He said the party's overall vote share had increased significantly, while it had also made progress in areas like Cheltenham and Eastleigh, where it hoped to gain back MPs at next month's General Election.

"We're in a relatively encouraging position, though there hasn't been a spectacular breakthrough," he said.

Former Business Secretary Vince Cable Credit: Clara Molden for The Telegraph

6:33AM

What's the future for Ukip? 

6:26AM

Labour suffers bruising losses in Wales

Labour has suffered bruising losses in Wales, including "embarrassingly" in the constituency of Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones.

Professor Roger Scully, a Welsh election expert, has said so far there had been a "much smaller" swing from Labour to Conservative in Wales than in England.

He said: "Labour's worst losses in Wales have been to independents in Wrexham, Merthyr and Blaenau Gwent.

"But Labour held up well in Newport, Cardiff and Swansea."

6:16AM

'A really disappointing night' 

Barry Gardiner, a shadow cabinet minister, had admitted that it had been a "really disappointing night" for Labour but he insisted there were local reasons for some of the losses.

He told BBC Radio 4:

In Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr I think it's right to say that most of the problems we have had there - losing control where we were in control - were through the splits within the Labour Party itself and the independents.

Barry Gardiner Credit: Eddie Mulholland

6:14AM

'It truly is an honour' 

Tim Bowles has secured the West of England mayoralty for the Tories. 

Speaking after being crowned mayor, Mr Bowles said:

I am delighted to see the sun rising over Bristol and the West of England this morning.

I would like to pay my very, very sincere thanks to Lesley and all of the other candidates.

I think we have genuinely developed a really good rapport and friendship throughout the campaign.

I believe we have become really good friends.

From a personal perspective, I am honoured to be elected the first West of England regional mayor.

It truly is an honour and I look forward to working on behalf of everyone in the region.

Mr Bowles is the first elected mayor for the authority and will gain new decision-making and spending powers, PA report. 

Turnout in the election was 29.7 per cent, with 199,519 people voting out of a possible 671,280.

Bristol saw a turnout of 31.1 per cent. The turnout for the mayoral election in 2016, which saw Labour's Marvin Rees win, was 44.87 per cent.

Mr Bowles, a businessman, will now have to work closely with Mr Rees, who achieved a majority of 29,173 when he was elected.

The West of England is one of six super-regions that will elect a metro mayor on May 5, with other areas including the West Midlands and Greater Manchester.

Other regions are expected to announce their winners in the afternoon.

5:57AM

Ukip: 'A disappointing night' 

Ukip former leadership contender Lisa Duffy has insisted the party's results had not been a "disaster" but acknowledged it was a "disappointing night so far, especially in Lincolnshire and Essex".

She told BBC Radio 4:

As a party we will learn from this, we will grow and we will move forward and we will continue to be positive.

5:55AM

'There's a long way to go' 

Brandon Lewis, a Conservative Minister, shas aid Theresa May would "take the view that the results thus far are encouraging but there are still a lot of councils to declare".

"We can't assume that what happens in local elections will automatically be replicated in general elections," he told the BBC.

"There's a long way to go, there's a lot of work to do, we have got to work for every vote out there to make sure that we return Theresa May with a clear mandate on June 8."

Prime Minister's Theresa May canvassing in Eastbourne East Sussex  Credit: Mark Dimmock

5:52AM

'UKIP has done remarkably badly'

John Curtice, the professor of politics at Strathclyde University, has told the BBC he believes UKIP has "done remarkably badly" in the local elections. 

Pointing out that the party has so far "failed to hold on to a single seat".

He also suggests it has "a pretty bad night" for Labour, who have witnessed its "worst result" since the 2010 general election. 

5:50AM

Tory Mayor elected 

Tim Bowles has secured the West of England mayoralty for the Tories. 

He won with 70,300 votes, beating Labour’s Lesley Mansell on 65,923.

5:33AM

Plaid Cymru hold majority 

Ceredigion remains under no overall control, with Plaid Cymru retaining their position as the largest party.

5:10AM

Labour lose Bridgend

Labour have lost overall control of Bridgend, falling just short of winning enough seats for an overall majority.

This is a big moment because Theresa May targeted Bridgend with a campaign visit in an effort to boost the Tory presence in Wales.

It is the stronghold of First Minister and Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones.

4:51AM

Latest results

Here's a snapshot of the results, according to the BBC.

  • Conservatives 501 seats. +123
  • Labour 265 seats. -105
  • Lib Dems 126 seats. -13
  • Ukip 0 seats. -40

4:45AM

Ukip 0

As a sign of how bad a night Ukip is having, "Ukip 0" is trending on Twitter. 

4:36AM

Results 'in line with opinion polls'

The local election results so far are broadly in line with those predicted in the opinion polls, elections expert John Curtice has said.

The Strathclyde University professor gave his analysis on a night the Tories started by making big gains while Labour and Ukip lost seats.

"These are largely in line with what we were expecting given what the opinion polls have been telling us," Prof Curtice told the Press Association.

He said Labour looked set to perform worse than the last time these seats were contested in England in 2013, adding that while Labour's vote had held up in some places it had also fallen apart in areas it had been vulnerable before.

Chart - Poll Error at elections 1992-2016

Prof Curtice said the performance of the Liberal Democrats had been up and down, adding: "The trouble is the Tories are bouncing so strongly, any improvement is not enough to win the seats."

Ukip, meanwhile, "has lost everything they've been trying to defend", Prof Curtice added.

The pollster previously said the Labour Party's position in the polls had weakened in the past year and it could result in a 12-point swing in favour of the Tories.

He said he expected the broad picture to remain the same come the end of counting across the country on Friday evening.

Prof Curtice has previously predicted that Labour would be heading for disaster in Scotland, where counts will start later on Friday.

4:09AM

Second round in regional mayoral poll

The West of England regional mayoral poll will go through to second preference votes, after no candidate achieved more than 50% in the first round.

Conservative Tim Bowles led the first-preference votes, with 53,796, followed by Labour's Lesley Mansell with 43,627.

Here's a reminder of what these metro mayors are.

About | Metro mayors 3:46AM

Ukip wipe out

Ukip have been wiped out in Lincolnshire - but senior party member Lisa Duffy tried to put on a brave face when she spoke to the BBC.

"I won't use the word 'disaster', I'll use the word 'challenging'.

"We knew it was going to be a difficult night."

3:39AM

Big news in Wales

The BBC is reporting that Labour has lost Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil to independents - which is a big blow for the party. The fact they didn't go tot he Tories is one bright spot for them.

There is better news for the party in Newport, where Labour has retained overall control, winning 27 of the 50 seats, with a few divisions still to declare.

At 3.20am, across the nine English and Welsh counties that had fully declared results, the Tories had control of six authorities - including three gains - and 300 seats, a net gain of 70. Labour had won 103 seats, a net loss of 36, the Lib Dems had won 75, a net loss of 14 and Ukip had failed to win any seats, a net loss of 20.

 

3:16AM

Ukip - 'we're going through a new phase'

Lisa Duffy, a senior Ukip politician who ran unsuccessfully for the party's leadership, has admitted to the BBC that it will be a tough night.

"We know tonight's going to be extremely challenging for us as a political party. We're going through a new phase. We got Brexit - or we certainly won the referendum, we're well on our way to Brexit now. With the general election being called so quickly, it's going to be a difficult night but it's one that we will grow from."

2:59AM

Cumbria tilts to Tories

Labour have also lost ground in Cumbria. While the county council remains under no overall control, the Conservatives replaced Labour as the biggest party, with the Tories effectively taking 10 seats from Labour.

Labour's Gillian Troughton, who suffered a historic loss in a recent by-election in Copeland to Conservative Trudy Harrison, was among those to lose their council seats.

Ms Troughton is standing again to be Copeland's MP at next month's general election.

2:43AM

View from Wales...

...and it's not pretty for Labour.

2:37AM

Latest results

  • Conservatives have retained control of Dorset, winning 23 of the 45 seats with a few divisions still to declare.
  • Conservatives have retained control of Hampshire, winning 42 of the 78 seats with some divisions still to declare.
  • Wrexham and Flintshire councils have remained under no overall control.
  • Conservatives have gained control of Gloucestershire from no overall control after winning 27 of the 53 seats so far, with some divisions still to declare.

2:24AM

'A very disappointing evening'

Brendan Toomey, Labour’s leader in Merthyr Tydfil,  says he has lost his seat.

In an interview with Radio 4, he suggested the problems ran deeper than just Jeremy Corbyn.

“We are having a very disappointing evening to say the least... I’m sure that I’m going to lose my seat.

“It is quite clear that huge numbers of the public aren’t entirely happy, to say the least, with the way the Labour party is going at the moment. There’s no doubt about that. But I think it goes much deeper than that.”

2:17AM

'Challenges' for Labour

Things are not looking good for Labour - and a rather glum Barry Gardiner, shadow international trade secretary,  said: "It's never good to hear that we are losing seats."

In England, the councils being contested were "historically the Conservatives' strongest areas" and in Wales Labour would struggle to emulate the success it enjoyed in 2012 when the party dominated the results, he said.

Welsh election expert Professor Roger Scully suggested that Merthyr Tydfil, which was solidly Labour, could slip from the party's grasp.

Mr Gardiner said he would be "desperately disappointed" if that happened, telling BBC Radio 4 it would be a "huge loss to us".

But 2012 was a "high-water mark" for Labour in Wales and "we were not expecting this to be as good as it was back then".

Election co-ordinator Andrew Gwynne acknowledged there were "challenges" for Labour.

He added that the Ukip vote had seemingly collapsed and transferred to the Conservatives, which was where Labour was being squeezed.

"There are challenges for the Labour Party around the country, I'm not going to hide from that.

"But I think the one thing we've really got to look at here is how we now take forward the Labour campaign going into June 8 and the General Election."

2:04AM

And more coming in..

The Conservatives have retained control in Essex, winning 50 of the 75 seats with a few wards still to declare. They have also gained control of Lincolnshire after winning 36 seats of the 70 on the council, with some divisions still to declare.

 

1:59AM

First council result

Conservatives have gained control of Warwickshire after winning 29 out of the 46 seats so far, with some divisions still to declare.

This backs up what political scientist Professor John Curtice has been saying. Prof Curtice told the BBC that he can see a strong swing from Labour to Conservatives:

"On average, it is currently running at 9%, a swing that is certainly in line with the claim of the opinion polls that the Conservatives enjoy a substantial double-digit lead over Labour in popularity across the UK as a whole."

1:38AM

What about Scotland?

No results - and there won't be for a while. Scotland's 32 councils will start their counts at about 9am, with first results expected from midday.

1:36AM

Not a great start for Ukip

1:23AM

State of play so far

1:22AM

Turnout looking very low for metro mayor elections

Initial figures show the overall turnout for the West of England metro mayor election was 29.6%. The electorate was 671,280 and 198,810 people voted.

In Bath and North East Somerset, 41,466 voted - a turnout of 13.52%.

Bristol saw a turnout of 30.88% - or 100,647 voters - while South Gloucestershire's turnout was 56,697, or 27.06%.

1:15AM

Corbyn failed to give a boost in Harlow

A campaign visit to Harlow by Mr Corbyn the week before the vote failed to boost Labour support in the Essex town, traditionally viewed as a bellwether seat in general elections.

Labour lost the north division and west divisions, while the Tories increased their share of the vote in the south east.

Rob Halfon, a Government minister who is hoping to retain the Harlow seat on June 8, hailed the "brilliant council result".

12:59AM

Metro mayors

Counting is under way to establish who will become the first West of England combined authority mayor, commonly known as a metro mayor.

Elections have been held across Bristol City Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council, the PA reports.

There are six candidates hoping to become the first elected mayor for the authority, gaining new decision-making and spending powers.

About | Metro mayors

They are: Tim Bowles for the Conservative Party, Aaron Foot for Ukip, Darren Hall for the Green Party, Lesley Mansell for Labour, independent candidate John Savage and Stephen Williams for the Liberal Democrats.

The West of England is one of six super-regions that will elect a metro mayor on May 5, with other areas including the West Midlands and Greater Manchester.

It is expected to announce its metro mayor in the early morning, with the other regions expected to declare in the afternoon.

12:49AM

First losses for Ukip

Ukip lost their first seat of the night in Basildon Westley Heights - Essex. And it seems the Tories will snatch Boston North from them too. 

12:44AM

'Mountain of results'

It is still way too early to draw any messages from the early results coming in - as the BBC's Chris Mason colourfully explains.

12:26AM

Farage not hopeful

Hope are not high for Ukip in these local elections - even Farage seems to expect the party to get a battering tonight. In an interview on LBC, he said:

 "It’s not just Labour that’s going to lose seats tonight – and I’m very glad I’m coming off air in a moment.”

11:51PM

Labour lose Caldicot Castle (Monmouthshire)

It is not a good start for Labour - the party has lost the Caldicot Castle (Monmouthshire) ward to the Libertal Democrats.

11:49PM

Conservatives win Bedworth North (Warwickshire)

It is a notional gain from Labour due to a boundary change.

11:47PM

Labour lose Wrexham

The first results of the evening are coming in - and it's not good news for Labour.

They have lost Wrexham's Rhosnesni ward to an independent.

"We will have to see whether this is a portent of results to come," Prof John Curtice of Strathclyde University tells the BBC.

11:10PM

'Theresa May candidates' in Wales

Conservative council candidates in Wales are "Theresa May's candidates" and will form part of her strong and stable leadership if they triumph in the local government elections, the party has said, PA reports.

The comments came as counting began in Wales' local government elections, in which all of the nation's 22 councils went to the polls.

Ahead of the election, Labour held 536 seats and had outright control of 10 of the local authorities but was facing challenges from Plaid Cymru, Tories, Lib Dems and Ukip, which had a breakthrough with seven AMs elected in regional PR top-up seats in the Welsh Assembly elections last May.

Labour, which won 10 of 21 unitary authorities in Wales in the 2012 local election, will be hoping to hold up its share of the vote despite polls that have warned the party could face "heavy losses", and has fielded 910 candidates.

Plaid Cymru had 177 councillors and is fielding 549 candidates while the Tories held 103 seats and have put 621 names on ballots across the country.

A Conservative Party spokeswoman said they had candidates in every constituency - a record number - and that they had all been campaigning hard in the lead-up to the election.

She said: "We are out there to win.

"These are Theresa May's candidates - it is all part of a strong and stable leadership, a Conservative prime minister that is out fighting for the country and the council candidates are her candidates."

11:08PM

The count begins

Election staff arrive with ballot papers for the local election count at Riverside Ice & Leisure Centre in Chelmsford, Essex Credit: PA

 

10:28PM

'Good news - it's only 34 days to the next election!'

Politicians from across the parties have thanked their supporters - and are already looking forward to the next election day (which is now just 34 days away):

10:04PM

Polls now closed

A polling station in Stalybridge Credit: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images Europe

That’s it.

The polls have now closed in the local elections. Now we have to wait for the results. 

9:35PM

Will Andy Street win the West Midlands for the Tories?

Andy Street Credit: Andrew Fox for The Telegraph

Of all the metro mayor contests it is perhaps the race for the West Midlands which is most compelling.

Labour’s Sion Simon, a former MP and current MEP, had been expected to win but Mr Street, the Tory candidate and former managing director of John Lewis, is now the favourite.

Mr Street has received the very vocal backing of Theresa May and the Conservatives will be hoping he can get over the line.

The result is expected to be announced at about 6pm on Friday.

Meanwhile, the battle to be mayor of the West of England is also likely to be one of the most exciting results as the area is a three-way marginal between the Tories, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

9:10PM

Andy Burnham casts his vote as he bids to become mayor of Greater Manchester

Andy Burnham poses with his daughters Annie and Rosie as he arrives at Golborne Community Primary school to cast his vote in the Greater Manchester mayoral election, for which he is standing as a candidate Credit: Oli Scarff/AFP

Mr Burnham, one of eight candidates hoping to be named metro mayor of Greater Manchester, voted this morning.

The former health secretary who rose to prominence in the Labour governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown quit the Commons to try and become mayor.

He is the favourite to win the race with the result expected to be announced at about 6pm on Friday.

8:47PM

Nicola Sturgeon casts her vote in Glasgow

Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the SNP Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA

 The First Minister of Scotland and leader of the SNP cast her vote in the local elections at Broomhouse Community Hall in the city on Thursday morning. 

8:28PM

Ruth Davidson votes in Edinburgh

Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA

The Scottish Tory leader voted at the Cafe Camino polling station in the city earlier on Thursday. 

8:12PM

Liberal Democrats hoping party’s post-EU referendum surge continues

Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

With success in several council by-elections, as well as in the parliamentary by-election for Richmond Park, Tim Farron's party will be hoping to show further signs of growth on Thursday after their decimation at the 2015 General Election.

Some polling forecasts predict the Lib Dems could gain about 100 council seats.

Such a performance would likely see them take full control of Cornwall council with Cumbria and Somerset also in their sights.

The Lib Dems will also be hoping to make gains on Cardiff City Council which Labour won back in 2012.

7:49PM

Theresa May drops in on Tory phone bank to speak to voters

Theresa May meets volunteers at a campaign call centre on Thursday evening Credit: Steve Back/Steve Back

The Prime Minister is spending Thursday evening meeting Tory campaign volunteers and speaking to voters as part of the party's phone bank.  

Theresa May meets volunteers at a campaign call centre on Thursday evening Credit: Steve Back/Steve Back 

 

7:35PM

Theresa May campaigning in Eastbourne

Theresa May Credit: Mark Dimmock/Mark Dimmock

 The Prime Minister was out knocking on doors in Eastbourne on Thursday.

7:30PM

Tim Farron meets voters in his constituency

Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader Credit: Nigel Roddis/PA

The leader of the Liberal Democrats has spent the day in his Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency. 

He spoke to voters at the Allithwaite Community Centre in Allithwaite, Cumbria.

 

7:21PM

Jeremy Corbyn campaigns in Oxford

Jeremy Corbyn on the campaign trail in Oxford on Thursday Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images Europe

The Labour leader spent some of Thursday in Oxford where he campaigned with the party's parliamentary candidate Anneliese Dodds before meeting Labour activists.

7:14PM

Will positive General Election polls translate to council seats for Tories?

Polls suggest Theresa May's Conservative Party could do well in Wales on June 8 Credit: Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph

The Tories have been boosted in recent weeks by polling which suggests they could do well in Wales at the General Election.

The big question is whether any of that predicted support will have translated to the local elections today.

Labour holds large majorities in the areas where it is in control with the party’s slenderest lead in Merthyr Tydfil still at 17 seats.

That should mean the party is safe from major shocks in Wales on Thursday. 

However, if the General Election polling does play out the Tories could make major gains.

7:02PM

Voters urged to be patient at busy polling stations

 

6:58PM

Will Labour maintain control of Glasgow City Council? 

Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish Labour leader, will be hoping for strong results for her party in Glasgow Credit: Andy Buchanan/AFP

Labour controls five councils in Scotland outright and has minority control or a place in a coalition in a further 14 council areas.

As a result Labour is in at least joint control of around half the authorities in the country.

It also means the party’s grip on power is potentially fragile with even a small shift in support away from the party likely to have significant consequences.  

One authority where this could play out is Glasgow City Council where Labour currently has 12 seats more than the SNP.

An SNP surge, similar to that seen in 2015, could easily change the balance of power.

6:37PM

Theresa May arrives at Victoria station after a day of campaigning in Eastbourne - the town where she was born

 

6:34PM

Lib Dem's West of England mayoral candidate channels The Force on campaign poster

 

6:26PM

Will Labour become Scotland’s third party?

Ed Miliband  Credit: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA

Scotland was the scene of a spectacular collapse in Labour support at the 2015 general election with Ed Miliband's party losing 40 seats to the SNP.

But Labour support north of the border has fallen still further under Jeremy Corbyn, with recent polls showing that the party could slump to third place, behind the Conservatives, when it comes to vote share in the council elections.

In 2012 – the last time Scottish councils were elected – Labour attracted 31.4 per cent of the vote, slightly behind the SNP on 32.2 per cent but well clear of the Conservatives, on 13.3 per cent.

However, recent polls showed that only 17 per cent of Scots were intending to vote Labour this time around - less than the 19 per cent who said they'd vote Conservative and way behind the SNP on 46 per cent.

If those numbers are replicated today it would represent a historic low for Labour in Scotland and could well mean the party loses a significant number of the 374 council seats it currently holds.

6:13PM

Will the local elections tell us anything about the General Election?

The last time local elections were held so close to a general election was under Margaret Thatcher  Credit: John Redman/AP

The results of the local elections will be pored over by pundits looking for clues ahead of June 8 but taking lessons from today will come with a number of health warnings.

For example, not all areas of the country are voting, turnout at local elections tends to be far lower than at general elections and local issues often dominate.

The only other times that council elections have been held a month before a general election were in 1983 and 1987 - both under Margaret Thatcher.

On both occasions the Conservatives performed far better in the general elections than they did in the council elections.

However, if the Conservatives gain significantly in Wales, Scotland and the Midlands at the expense of Labour it could be indicative of the way these regions are leaning in general.

5:37PM

Key council results we are expecting on Friday afternoon

After a selection of results on Friday morning there will likely be a pause until the afternoon when there is likely to be flurry.

Here are the timings of some of the results to look out for:

  • 4pm: Glasgow council

The SNP could seize control of Glasgow from Labour which would represent an historic loss for Jeremy Corbyn's party.

  • 4pm: Lancashire council

Lancashire is a key target for the Conservatives in both the local and general elections. If Labour loses control it will represent a coup for the Tories.

Voters arrive at a polling station in Manchester on Thursday Credit: Oli Scarff/AFP
  • 4pm: Derbyshire

The Tories hope they can take back control of Derbyshire council in a heavily eurosceptic area. Will Labour hang on?

  • 5pm: Nottinghamshire council

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn both launched their local election campaigns in Nottinghamshire, where Labour is defending the council and the Tories hope to make gains.

  • 6pm: Kent County Council

At the last election Kent, a traditional Tory stronghold, saw an influx of Ukip councillors. The Tories will be hoping to dislodge them.

5:26PM

Council results we are expecting early on Friday morning

A voter places a ballot paper in a ballot box at a polling station Credit: Rui Vieira/PA

Once polls close at 10pm there will be a fairly long wait for the first results to come in.

Here are the councils we are expecting first:

  • 4am-7am: Monmouthshire, Newport and Vale of Glamorgan

The Tories could threaten Labour in its traditional Welsh strongholds.

  • 4am: Northumberland council

Labour is the largest group on the council, which is a Tory target. It would represent a huge blow to Labour if it was displaced.

  • 8am: Cumbria council

The Tories last held Cumbria way back in 1981 and now hope they can become the largest party on the authority.

5:14PM

When will the metro mayor results be announced?

Predicting exactly when election results will be announced is difficult but here is roughly when we are expecting them: 

  • West of England: 5am
  • Doncaster: 5.30am
  • Liverpool City Region: 3pm
  • North Tyneside: 4pm
  • Tees Valley: 4pm
  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough: 5pm
  • Greater Manchester: 6pm
  • West Midlands: 6pm

5:08PM

Six metro mayors to be elected

It’s not just council seats up for grabs on Thursday.

New metro mayors are being elected in six super-regions with new powers over transport, housing and job creation.

The regions are Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley, West Midlands and West of England.

Andy Burnham is one of the candidates running to be mayor of Greater Manchester Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

Meanwhile, mayors in Doncaster and North Tyneside are also seeking re-election.

The newly created metro mayor position has attracted interest from a number of political heavyweights.

Andy Burnham, the Labour former frontbencher, is the favourite in Greater Manchester while Steve Rotheram, former Labour MP and former aide to Jeremy Corbyn, is running in Liverpool.

Andy Street, the former boss of John Lewis, is the Conservative candidate for mayor in West Midlands Credit: Andrew Fox for The Telegraph

Andy Street, the former boss of John Lewis, is the Tories’ big hope in West Midlands where he is up against Labour’s Sion Simon.

4:56PM

Thousands of council seats up for grabs as England, Wales and Scotland go to the polls

An elderly couple walk past a sign for a polling station Credit: Oli Scarff/AFP

It’s a big night for British politics. Coming just five weeks before the General Election the results from today will be heavily scrutinised by pundits and pollsters seeking to predict what will happen on June 8.

Traditionally local elections provide an opportunity for the opposition to make gains against the governing party but Labour is predicted to lose seats.

Meanwhile,  the Tories and Liberal Democrats could be on course for big gains.

Here’s how many seats each party is defending:

  • Labour: 1,535

  • Conservatives: 1,136

  • Lib Dems: 484

  • SNP: 438

  • Plaid Cymru: 170

  • UKIP: 146

  • Green Party: 34

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