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Labour makes some gains in Oxford City Council elections

BRITAIN-POLITICS-VOTE

Despite mounting troubles over Britain's withdrawal from the EU, Prime Minister Theresa May and her Conservative Party emerged relatively unscathed from local elections, according to results released on Friday.

The ruling party also scored highly in areas that voted in favour of Brexit in the 2016 referendum, while losing some ground in more pro-EU heartlands.

Across the seven Momentum campaign areas to have announced results so far, Labour gained 22 councillors and lost five, with all defeats suffered in Barnet, north London.

Andrew Castle was left questioning Jeremy Corbyn's position as leader of the Labour Party after its lower-than-expected performance at the local elections this week.

"In a sign of how anxious they are about Labour's advance, the Tories talked up our chances to unrealistic levels, especially in London", he said.

There was a similar picture in the Kersal ward in Salford - another strongly Jewish area - where the Conservatives took the seat from the Labour incumbent.

Voting decides 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.

He wrote on Twitter: "Almost everywhere that @PeoplesMomentum held #Unseat campaign events, Labour made gains - some big - and the Tories lost seats". The Conservatives also benefitted greatly from UKIP's monumental collapse as the openly and largely racist vote transfers to them. "Labour thought they could take control, this was one of their top targets and they threw everything at it, but they failed", she said.

Jeremy Corbyn faced questions over whether his party has now passed "peak Corbyn" after Labour gained control of just two councils nationwide while losing overall control of three.

Mr O'Flynn added: "I don't think it is true that we are not in the game anymore, though clearly we are down to our irreducible core".

May has been struggling to deal with one crisis after another, many of them related to the negotiations over the withdrawal, but mixed results from across the country meant the Opposition Labour Party failed to achieve the big, if symbolic, gains it was hoping for.

Local elections held in parts of the United Kingdom on Thursday gave a partial indication of the growing polarisation between the classes due to deepening social inequality.

However, they lost the southwestern city of Plymouth to Labour and lost control of Trafford, the Tories' flagship council in northern England.

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

- The Liberal Democrats put on an extra 76 seats and gained control of four extra councils.

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

"We were defending seats that were last won in 2014, which was a particularly good year for Labour in local government".

Labour had allowed expectations for election gains to grow high, particularly in London, where some senior figures talked up prospects of a victory in Wandsworth.

Although it's hard to extrapolate to general election constituencies, the Richmond result especially must concern the party for its parliamentary seats of Richmond Park and Putney.