The majority of the local election results are in, with UKIP gaining just one seat from Labour and holding onto one it was defending, losing more than 80, mainly to the Tories.
A total of 4,851 seats were up for grabs in 88 councils, including all 32 in Scotland, 22 in Wales, and 34 county councils and unitary authorities in England.
The BBC said enough results were now in to give a projected vote share – an estimate of how the nation as a whole would have voted based on last night’s results – which is a useful barometer for the general election in a few weeks.
The Conservatives are estimated to get 38 per cent of voter support (up 3 per cent), Labour 27 per cent (down 2 per cent), the Liberal Democrats would be on 18 per cent (up 7 per cent), and UKIP on 5 per cent (down 8 per cent).
Other parties and independents would get around 12 per cent, according to this BBC estimate.
By 2:15 pm on Friday, the Conservative party had gained a massive 333 extra seats, with Labour haemorrhaging 148 and UKIP losing 81 seats.
Projection national vote share:
CON: 38% (+3)
LAB: 27% (-2)
LDEM: 18% (+7)
UKIP: 5% (-8)
(via John Curtice)
Chgs. w/ 2015.
— Britain Elects (@britainelects) May 5, 2017
Significantly, Labour lost a number of its “heartland” seat in mining towns in North Wales, as well as Glasgow to the Scottish Nationalists – an area they have controlled for more than 30 years.
The Conservatives gained control of seven councils in England and Wales, such as Lincolnshire and Monmouthshire, and are also making ground in Scotland as Labour fades.
They have made gains in Edinburgh, Fife, and Midlothian and parts of Glasgow, where the Conservatives have been not been represented for years.
Also on Friday afternoon, Labour’s Steve Rotheram was elected as the first “metro mayor” of the Liverpool City Region.
According to the BBC, the turnout was notably low, at just 26 per cent, and Mr. Rotheram won the role as mayor with just 171,176 votes.
The Tees Vally Mayoralship was won by Conservative Ben Houchen. The Tories got 39 per cent of the vote with an even lower turnout of just 21 per cent.
The results for Manchester’s Metro Mayor are expected early, at around 3:30 pm. Turn out was not much better, at just 28.9 per cent.