he Tories have lost more than 320 councillors and key strongholds such as Swindon and Medway, local election results on Friday showed, as Labour and the Lib Dems made significant gains.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the party is “going to bottle this feeling we have today” and “turn it into a General Election win next year”.
The Lib Dems said that they are “exceeding all expectations in the capital’s commuter belt” but leader Sir Ed Davey would not be drawn on whether his party would seek to enter a coalition with Labour at the General Election.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was“disappointed” at losing some councillors but sought to highlight where his party was doing better.
Earlier, election analyst told Sky News the Tories were suffering a “hammering by any standard”.
“The Conservatives have lost a third of their council seats so far – a hammering by any standard. If that trend continues the party is likely to post a final tally that rivals the debacle of 1995 that left them limping towards a massacre at the general election two years later.”
The contests were the first to be fought under new rules requiring voters to carry photographic ID, and the elections watchdog said “regrettably” some people were turned away from polling stations as a result.
Labour take High Peak, Bracknell Forest and Middlesborough councils
Labour have taken High Peak council from no overall control after gaining eight seats in the Derbyshire council, with the Conservatives losing six.
The new council is Labour 29, Conservative 10, Green two, Lib Dem one, independent one.
The party has also taken Bracknell Forest council from the Conservatives, and Middlesborough from no overall control.
Lib Dems gain South Hams council from Tories
The Lib Dems have gained controlled of South Hams from the Conservatives, after gaining nine seats in the Devon council.
The new councils has 19 Lib Dems, seven Conservatives, three Greens and one independent, after the Conservatives lost nine seats.
The party has also held its control of Chelmsford, Eastbourne and Winchester councils.
Green Party win outright control of first council
Results are now coming in thick and fast.
Among the results recently announced is that the Green Party has won control of Mid Suffolk, winning 18 of the council’s 34 seats, with eight more results to be declared.
It is the first council they have controlled outright.
However, they have previously been running a minority administration on Brighton and Hove City Council.
Labour would have nine-point lead over Tories – projection
Labour would have a nine-point lead over the Conservatives if the results of the local election were replicated nationally, according to a BBC projection.
The broadcaster said that if all of Britain had gone to the polls Labour would have a vote share of 35%, with the Conservatives on 26%.
The Liberal Democrats would be on 20%, with others making up 19%.
Labour loses control of Slough
Labour has lost control of Slough, where the Conservatives have become the biggest party, with 21 of the 42 seats.
Labour lost 17 seats, with the Conservatives gaining 16 in the Berkshire council.
Tories lose control of 19 councils, Labour gain six
Labour has taken the Tory council leader seat in both Thanet and Canterbury.
The Tories have lost control of 19 councils, while Labour have taken control of six and the Lib Dems have taken control of three.
Labour wins Erewash from Tories
Labour have taken control of Erewash Council in Derbyshire from the Conservatives.
Polling expert Prof Michael Thrasher said Labour is on course to be the largest party at the next General Election, but will not get an overall Commons majority, according to results so far in local elections.
Lib Dems win Stratford-on-Avon
Lib Dems win Stratford-on-Avon in an apparent backlash against local MP Nadhim Zahawi who was forced to resign from Government over a tax row.
The Conservatives lost seven seats, leaving the new council comprising of Lib Dems 25, Conservatives 12, Green three and one independent.
Labour wins Blackpool from no overall control
Labour has won in Blackpool, where it was previously no overall control.
Lib Dems take control of Dacorum
The Liberal Democrats took control of their key target council Dacorum, where party leader Sir Ed Davey launched their campaign by driving a yellow tractor through a “blue wall” of painted hay bales.
The party chalked up the seven gains they needed to take control of the Hertfordshire council, where before polling day the Conservatives had 31 of the 51 seats.