Local elections: neither Corbyn nor May able to break poll deadlock

It was mixed emotions for councillors across the Black Country as results were counted

Labour's sweep of 42 of the 45 seats in Tower Hamlets also represented a serious defeat for Aspire, the party backed by disgraced former mayor Lutfur Rahman, which won no seats.

Meanwhile, Tories picked up seats outside London, partly by exploiting a collapse in support for the right-wing ailing U.K. Independence Party, which has struggled to stay relevant since the Brexit referendum in 2016.

"These results are as good as any government party after eight years in power could expect", said Tony Travers, a professor at the London School of Economics Department of Government.

Political commentators are predicting that the main opposition Labour Party, under its leader Jeremy Corbyn, will gain seats from the Conservatives in some of the 32 London boroughs.

Adam Langleben, who lost his seat in High Barnet, told MailOnline that planned event for tonight has been cancelled but Mr Corbyn should still come in order to apologise for his failure to tackle anti-Semitism.

Votes in the local elections equated to a 35 per cent share for both Labour and the Conservatives.

Theresa May told activists in Wandsworth yesterday: 'Labour thought they could take control, this was one of their top targets and they threw everything at it, but they failed'.

"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.

The BBC's projection suggests that if the result was repeated at a general election there would be another hung parliament with Labour on 283 seats in the Commons compared to the Conservatives' 280. The Conservatives also benefitted greatly from UKIP's monumental collapse as the openly and largely racist vote transfers to them. Despite intensive campaigning, Labour saw the Conservatives win back control of the London borough of Barnet, which has the largest Jewish population of any single council area.

'I knocked on the door of a woman who had a Mezuzah on her door and said she was a lifelong Labour voter and from a union background.

What the Prime Minister didn't say on Friday, however, was that more people voted Labour than Tory in the borough, with the Conservatives hanging on to a council they've held for 40 years by virtue of the way the three wards are divided.

Thursday's vote will decide more than 4,400 council seats, determining the makeup of 150 local government authorities who are responsible for the day-to-day provision of public services.

Corbyn said he had secured a "solid set of results".

But they lost Trafford, their flagship council in the North West, to no overall control.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pointed to the party's success in Brexit-voting areas, remarking that Corbyn's promise to keep Britain in the EU customs union "means he is not trusted to deliver Brexit".

The Lib Dems also won neighbouring Kingston upon Thames from the Conservatives.

"There, at the moment, isn't really very much for the Labour Party to crow about ... it basically has come away frankly empty-handed relative to the expectation that it at least helped to build up", Curtice said.

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