Labour ‘likely’ to gain seats but will struggle to take control of councils, says poll

GMB: Keir Starmer grilled on accused Labour-Lib Dem pact

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YouGov has projected a swing away from the Tories, however, not everyone will turn towards Labour as some of those votes will be taken by the Lib Dems and Greens.

Sir Keir Starmer’s party are likely to make significant gains in a number of areas, mostly in London and the south of England.

Yet they may struggle to win back as much support in the ‘Red Wall’ seats which were lost to the Tories in the 2019 general election, despite Mr Starmer putting that area “at the top of his agenda”.

By Friday it is possible that Labour will have gained hundreds of seats but few overall councils, reported Sky News.

There are 146 local councils being contested in England this Thursday: 62 Labour, 46 Conservative, 11 Lib Dem and 27 No Overall Control (NOC).

The YouGov poll has projected results in 16 councils, with five being listed as “too close to call”.

In the south of England both Southampton and Wandsworth councils, currently under Conservative control, are “leaning towards” installing Labour administrations.

Losing Wandsworth would deal a large blow to Boris Johnson’s party, as the council has been under Tory control since 1978.

Elsewhere in London the results for Tory-led Barnet and Westminster councils are “too close to call”, with Labour hoping to win back Barnet after a disappointing loss in 2018 attributed to the area’s large Jewish community taking issue with former leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Croydon council looks set to stay in Labour hands, with the Conservatives likely to maintain control in Hillingdon.

Also in the south Labour are hoping to take Hastings, while results for Crawley and Worthing are still too close to predict.

However, Milton Keynes and the northern councils of Bolton, Kirklees and Wirral look set to remain in NOC due to challenges from the Lib Dems and independent parties.

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The northern councils of Bury and Calderdale are both “leaning Labour”, although Kingston upon Hull is viewed as “too close to call” as the Lib Dems present a significant challenge for Sir Keir.

Polling stations will open at 7am on Thursday May 5 and close at 10pm.

More than 4,350 seats in England will be contested, with councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also holding elections.

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