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As local election results continue to come in, Labour, Greens and the Lib Dems celebrate some early wins, as losses for the Conservative Party look ‘catastrophic’ with the party on track to lose half its councillors. 

The Conservatives have been dealt some crushing results already, having lost 122 council seats while Labour have gained 52, as of 9am this Friday morning. 

So far about a third of council results have been declared, with Prof Sir John Curtice, Britain’s polling guru, commenting this morning that the Tories are on course for “one of the worst, if not the worst Conservative performance in local government elections for the last 40 years”.

Speaking on the BBC, founder of Conservative Home Tim Mongomerie said results for the Tories so far had been “catastrophic”, while Prof Curtice said the Conservatives were “basically losing half the seats they’re trying to defend”.

Conservative Party Chair Richard Holden admitting on Sky News that it has been a “tough night” for the party as he said  “we have lost some good councillors across the country”.

The results could prove crucial in determining the Prime Minister’s future, as rebel Tory MPs have sought to build momentum to oust Rishi Sunak before the general election.

Keir Starmer hailed a “seismic” win in the Blackpool South by-election, which represented the third biggest swing in post-war election history. Chris Webb, Labour’s new MP for Blackpool South won with a majority of more than 7,000, a huge 56% of the vote share. 

Council elections have seen Labour gain control of former Tory councils Rushmoor in Hampshire and Redditch in the West Midlands. The party also re-gained control of Hartlepool, a significant moment after Labour’s disappointing results here in 2021 which nearly caused Starmer to resign. 

Traditional Conservative strong-hold Thurrock in Essex is another council Labour has gained from no overall control. Thurrock’s Tory leader Andrew Jefferies told the BBC Today show that people felt “disheartened” and “need a reason to vote Conservative”. 

However Labour’s stance on Gaza has been cited as the reason for lost votes in some areas. The party lost control in Oldham where a number of its councillors quit over Gaza. 

It also looks to be a good night for the Green Party which made two significant wins in Newcastle and have gained 13 council seats. Green leader Carla Denyer told Sky News they were, “really promising initial signs”.

Prof Curtice said that the Greens had made “some spectacular gains” and that the party “may be heading for their best performance yet in English local elections.”

The Lib Dems have gained 18 councillors so far, as wins in areas like Winchester and Stockport could pave good ground for the party in the general election. 

Hundreds of seats are still to be declared, along with the mayoral contests and 37 police and crime commissioners over the coming hours and days. Labour is on course to win 250 seats according to the BBC predictions made so far. 

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward

The post Local elections 2024: ‘Catastrophic’ results for Tories set to lose 500 seats  appeared first on Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate.

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