Conservatives make significant gains in local elections

The Conservatives are making significant gains in local elections. Is this an early sign of a Conservative general election win?

Preliminary local election results show significant gains for the Conservative party, UKIP being wiped from the board completely and Labour making minor gains in some areas.

The Conservatives have attempted to downplay their significance as a guide to the outcome of the general election on 8 June.

A total of 4,851 seats are up for grabs in 88 councils – all 32 in Scotland, 22 in Wales and 34 country councils and unitary authorities in England.

Labour-controlled councils in England, such as Derbyshire and Durham, have yet to declare – but they will be closely watched as there are already signs of the party losing ground in areas which voted, overwhelmingly, to leave the EU.

Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC’s political editor, says “There are lots and lots of results still to come in. But with a general election only a month away, this barometer of real votes looks grim for the Labour Party”.