Tories battered as early UK local election results trickle in

by ahshaber
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Britain’s ruling Conservatives have suffered sweeping losses in local elections, early results show. 

The left-of-centre Labour Party, Greens and Liberal Democrats have gained council seats in England at their expense, with around 58 of 230 councils declared, as of 7:00 a.m. local time. 

In the UK, councils are responsible for services like transport, housing, education, social care, waste collection and libraries. They often command billion-pound budgets and can exert a significant influence on their local area. 

Thursday’s vote is seen as a litmus test for the Conservatives, who have been in power for 13 years. Several issues have dented their support in recent years, from economic mismanagement to sewage dumping, though the results have not been as bad as some expected. 

Some pundits believe today’s results show Labour are on course for a general election victory, though we cannot say for sure. 

Labour took control of key councils it was targeting, such as Plymouth, a large navy city in the southwest. 

Meanwhile, the Conservatives lost control of councils around the country, including Tamworth, Brentwood, Hertsmere and NW Leicestershire

The full picture will not become clear until Friday afternoon, with 230 of England’s 317 councils conducting elections.

However, the Liberal Democrats have had a strong showing so far, whiles the anti-Brexit party hopes to seize key Conservative heartlands in the south of England. 

The Green are also pleased with the results, saying they expect “significant gains” later in the day. 

All councils are expected to declare by 8 p.m. on Friday. 

It was the first election in the country where voters needed to show a photo ID.

The Electoral Commission said the new rules meant some people were turned away, with experts warning Euronews in March Britain was “gambling with its democracy“.

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