Local Polls Boost May Five Weeks Before UK General Election

Salmond predicts Tory boasts of a win Gordon will backfire

"(They are) encouraging results but I am cautious about predicating the general election on them", Defense Minister Michael Fallon told BBC radio.

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Professor Michael Thrasher, an analyst for Sky News, said: "This does put them below what the national opinion polls are now saying".

In Lincolnshire, where Ukip leader Paul Nuttall is standing in the general election in Boston and Skegness, the party went from being the official Opposition to having no seats at all as the Tories gained 23 seats. Votes are still being counted, but initial indications predict large gains for the Conservative Party in these local.

Labour has lost more than 350 seats.

Labour's defeated mayoral candidate in the West Midlands, Sion Simon, said Labour supporters were dissatisfied with the party, even in places they had won.

A freakish scene was played out in north-east England's Northumberland County Council, after the final seat was decided by drawing straws.

Labour won the mayoral
races in Liverpool and
Manchester, where the former minister Andy Burnham
triumphed.

She said: "This was a council election that the SNP fought on local issues, which is probably why the SNP won the election so emphatically".

Mr Salmond conceded that support for the Conservatives is on the rise in Scotland - but claimed "presumptuous announcements" by the Tories would only seek to boost support for the SNP.

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She won the backing of lawmakers in the Scottish Parliament to seek the legal means from the United Kingdom government to hold another referendum, though Ms May rebuffed the demand.

With full results declared by 20 of the 88 councils holding elections in England, Scotland and Wales, the Tories had control of nine authorities, including five gains.

Across Scotland, the Conservatives had the biggest gains, up 164 seats to 276 - pointing to a revival for the party which has only one MP north of the border.

A BBC projection of the overall national vote share put Conservatives on 38 per cent (up 13 points since 2013), Labour 27 per cent (down two), Liberal Democrats 18 per cent (up four) and Ukip 5 per cent (down 18).

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.

The SNP had 431 seats across Scotland, down seven. Labour lost control of Glasgow to the SNP as well as Bridgend and Blaenau Gwent to independents.

"If Labour is elected next month we will guarantee that for the next five years there will be no tax rises for income taxpayers earning less than £80,000 a year, no hikes in VAT, and no changes in your National Insurance Contributions either", he will say. "What we've seen is the collapse of Labour and that's the reason for the increase in the Conservative vote".

Labour lost over 100 seats and three councils, but retained control in the key cities of Cardiff and Swansea.

The only parties
other than the Tories to
gain ground in England
and Wales were the Greens, who added six councillors for a total of 40, and Plaid Cymru, who picked up 33 wards and are four
councillors short of their best result.

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