May says not taking local election triumph for granted

Despite the scale of the Conservative victory, May told reporters that she still believed Labor could win the general election.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described the local election results, which marked massive losses for the party of 320 seats, as "mixed", and insisted his party was "closing the gap" on the Conservatives.

Conservatives maintain a commanding lead ahead of the June 8 General Election, despite Theresa May's personal popularity drifting downwards as the campaign progresses, according to a new poll.

But the results were widely seen as vindication both for her tough line on Brexit - threatening to walk away from talks with the remaining European Union if she can not get a good deal - as well as her decision to call a snap election. Dave Wilcox, Derbyshire's former Labour group leader, gave a statement following the control of his council passing to the Conservative Party, one in which he recalled what previous Labour voters told him personally when asked about their upcoming election choices.

"If you're going to put a single issue at the centre of your own campaign, then you lose the election, then you're left with a bit of egg on your face and I think the Tories have egg on their face on that question this morning".

The results sparked a furious reaction from the party's former donor Arron Banks, who said Ukip was "finished as an electoral force" under its current leadership and needed "a strategic bullet to the back of the head".

"We have five weeks to ruin their party".

The Lib Dems lost dozens of seats in England but saw a boost in their overall vote share.

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"At the moment, Theresa May is heading for a majority even bigger than the ones that Margaret Thatcher had in the 1980s, and that means all our communities, your family, your children, being taken for granted".

"The Liberal Democrats are the only party that can challenge Theresa May".

Labour was beaten into third place by the Conservatives in Scotland, where the SNP was comfortably the largest party despite failing to take control of target councils.

But it secured the mayorships of greater Manchester and Liverpool, two of six metropolitan conurbations to elect a mayor for the first time.

"As we go into the General Election, the people of Scotland have a clear choice", said Ms Sturgeon.

Some 52% of Labour voters who have quit the party since the last election said they would return if Mr Corbyn stood down as leader.

Thursday's results were widely seen as a vindication both for Mrs May's tough line on Brexit and her decision to call a snap election.

The Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, were down by almost 30, while the UK Independence Party (UKIP) had lost all of the 41 seats it held at the previous elections.

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