Labour has managed to keep control of more council seats than the Conservatives, according to the final results of the local elections 2016.
The results show that while Labour lost more seats than any other opposition party for 30 years, the party did manage to keep control of key councils such as Liverpool and Newcastle.
Overall, Labour lost 18 council seats, compared to the Conservatives who are now down by 48 seats. The Liberal Democrats won 45 seats while UKIP also made some ground by winning 25 seats.
Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of LGiU, said: ‘The results of the local elections this week show us very clearly that local government has come to the rescue for the national parties. The results could have been disastrous for both Labour and the Conservatives but it’s the leadership on local councils (on both sides of the aisle) up and down this country, who have been weathering the storm.
‘Labour losses are fewer than many predicted and this is in no small part because people are delivering a verdict on Labour councils and not simply the national party. By virtue of their duty to balance the books Labour councils have become more pragmatic in their approach to austerity and to public service reform.’
Labour’s Sadiq Khan has won the London mayoral race, beating Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith by more than 315,000 votes.
In Liverpool, Joe Anderson was voted in to serve a second term as elected mayor, while Marvin Rees has been elected mayor in Bristol,
And in the race to become mayor of Salford, Labour’s Paul Dennett secured 28,332 votes, beating second place Conservative councillor Robin Garrido who received 14,484 votes.
An analysis of the results by Chris Prosser from the British Election Study Team predicts that the Conservatives are likely to win the next general election.
Mr Prosser used his method for forecasting general election performance based on local election vote shares.
He predicts that in 2020, the Tories are likely to secure 37% of the vote and Labour will finish second with 30%. He also predicts that the Liberal Democrats and UKIP will both receive 11% of the votes.
On his blog, Mr Prosser wrote: ‘Despite the uncertainty over the exact vote shares the forecast is very confident – with a 92% probability – that the Conservatives will be the largest party at the next general election.’
However, Mr Prosser did warn that if the upcoming EU referendum went badly for the Conservatives, this could change the forecast as big political events can disrupt the usual pattern of politics.