Local elections: Theresa May not 'an electoral failure', says pollster

Labour could get its best London results in 40 years

Following last year's Cornwall Council elections Labour and the Labour and Co-operative Party picked up just five seats out of the 123 up for grabs.

However, he insisted it was a "solid set of results" which left the party "well placed to fight and win the next general election".

Ukip suffered a bloodbath, with dozens of councillors culled and its own general secretary comparing the party to the Black Death. The Liberal Democrats (LD) are back for an encore and UKIP, sans Nigel Farage, was basically booed off stage.

Britain's two main parties emerged from May 3 local elections in England in a draw, with Labor making gains but failing to capture target councils from the Conservatives.

Results in the London borough of Barnet, which has no overall political control, could provide a boost for May if criticism over anti-Semitism in Labour affects the votes of its large Jewish population and prevents Corbyn's party from taking control there for the first time.

"We've done better than expected", Conservative party chairman Brandon Lewis told Sky News.

"I think some of the predictions about the outcome (have been) a bit wild, but we will be campaigning across the country, as we have been, to return more Labour councillors and have more Labour councils to protect people from the impact of Tory (Conservative) austerity", a Labour spokesman said.

He said Mr Corbyn did not understand the problem and called on the Labour leader to visit the borough to apologise to the local party.

High expectations of the Labour Party's performance, particularly in the London area, were not met, as the party made a number of gains but failed to take control of Conservative areas that had been touted as potentially vulnerable to upsets.

UKIP has suffered leadership issues and struggled for a new objective since achieving its primary political aim at the 2016 Brexit referendum when Britons made a decision to leave the EU.

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It has been a hard week for PM Theresa May's government, with her cabinet fractured by the Brexit discussions on a customs union with Europe, and the aftermath of the Windrush immigration scandal which saw Home Secretary Amber Rush resign.

The Momentum for Labour has not materialised as per expectation.

With 50 of 150 councils declared, all of them outside the capital, the Tories had gained two councils and 42 seats, with Labour losing eight seats and control of Nuneaton and Bedworth council, a key Midlands battleground.

Labour previously had 25 seats, but now has 17 with the Conservatives close behind with 16. Tories lost 27 councillors and were reduced to a rump of just 11.

Sir Vince said the Lib Dems were "very much on the way back".

The other narrative in much reporting of the election has been the Labour Party being punished up North as some sort of revenge for questioning the wisdom of taking the United Kingdom out of any sort of customs union with Europe - including Ireland.

And it fell short of gaining control in areas like Swindon, Dudley and Walsall, where it had hoped to establish middle England strongholds.

The Conservatives' worst fears failed to materialise as they avoided a rout in London, and gained Basildon, Peterborough and Redditch as they benefited from Ukip's collapse. It was perhaps not the best analogy for the party's General Secretary to make when he likened the anti-EU force to the Black Death.

"It's not all over at all", Mr Oakley told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. It comes along and it causes disruption and then it goes dormant, and that's exactly what we are going to do.