UK local government elections: Key results

A man fixes a sign to the door of a polling station as voting begins in local government elections in London, on May 3, 2018.
A man fixes a sign to the door of a polling station as voting begins in local government elections in London, on May 3, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party avoided a wipeout in London local elections and eked out gains in Brexit-supporting regions elsewhere, early results on Friday (May 4) showed, although her Labour opponents did gain ground in the capital.

Below is a list of some facts about the elections and five council results that will set the tone for the overall outcome.

ROLE OF LOCAL COUNCILS

- Councils are the local government authorities with responsibility for providing public services that affect residents' day-to-day lives. They are made up of varying numbers of seats, and run by any party that has an overall majority of those seats.

- More than 4,000 council seats are contested, determining the make-up of 150 councils. More than 40 per cent of the seats are in London.

- All 32 London boroughs are electing their whole councils. Some councils outside London are only electing one third of their councillors this time around.

- Unlike national elections that decide seats in parliament, or the 2016 EU referendum, Thursday's (May 3) elections are open to EU nationals registered and resident in electing boroughs.

 
 

CLOSELY WATCHED SEATS

PETERBOROUGH

RESULT: CONSERVATIVE GAIN

The Conservatives won the single extra seat they needed to take overall control of this council which represents an eastern area that voted 61 per cent to leave the EU. The anti-EU UK Independence Party lost its only seat on the council as part of a broader collapse in the party's vote.

TRAFFORD

RESULT: CONSERVATIVE LOSS

A council in the northern city of Manchester which had been the Conservatives' highly-prized foothold in a region dominated by the opposition Labour Party. The Conservatives lost five seats, while Labour gained four, leaving the council without a single party in overall control.

WANDSWORTH

RESULT: CONSERVATIVE HOLD

A hotly-contested Conservative borough in southwest London with a tradition of low taxes dating back to former prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Labour gained seats on the council, but the Conservatives held enough to keep control.

Labour has not had control of Wandsworth council since 1978. Residents voted 75 per cent in favour of remaining in the EU, compared with 48 per cent nationwide.

WESTMINSTER

RESULT: CONSERVATIVE HOLD

The Conservatives lost three seats on this symbolic council at the heart of London's political district but retained overall control by a wide margin. It has been run by the Conservatives since its creation in 1964.

BARNET

RESULT YET TO BE DECLARED

A London borough which Labour has never won since its creation in 1974, Barnet is a big target this time around.

The result here will illustrate the extent to which a row between Labour and the Jewish community over the handling of anti-Semitism in the party has affected the public mood. Barnet has the highest proportion of Jewish residents in England at 15.5 per cent, according to the latest census data