Labour has argued that the local election results so far show that the party is “on course for a majority Labour government” following key victories in target areas of Plymouth and Stoke-on-Trent.
The party said this morning it was “confident” it would achieve an equivalent vote share lead of at least 8 points, which it said would represent its “best result since 1997”. It said such a lead in a general election would see Labour win a majority government, taking into account an “anticipated recovery” by the party in Scotland.
Labour’s national campaign co-ordinator Shabana Mahmood said: “These results show that we are on course for a majority Labour government. We have spent the whole campaign talking about Labour’s plan to tackle the Tory cost-of-living crisis which is the number one issue for voters.
“Rishi Sunak can’t talk about it because the Tories crashed the economy and they don’t know how to fix it. These results have been a disaster for Rishi Sunak as voters punish him for the Tories’ failure.”
Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Kyle told BBC News Labour is “back in business”, doing “incredibly well” and showing a “really good, solid performance”.
The Labour frontbencher said the results so far showed the success of the party’s targeting, messaging and organisation. He highlighted success in Stoke and likely victory in Medway, which has had a “Tory council for 20 years”.
Local Government Information Unit chief executive Jonathan Carr-West said the results overall were “broadly conforming to expectations” and represented a “good night” for Labour.
But the BBC’s election expert John Curtice warned: “There is a message here that voters are not yet necessarily fully enthused about Labour’s alternative, even if they are clearly disenchanted about the current Conservative government.”
The Labour Party highlighted that its gains in Plymouth and Stoke-on-Trent, victory in the Middlesborough mayoral election and a predicted gain in Medway “overlap with battlegrounds for the next election” and represent “key areas” in which the party needs to win, namely southern marginals, Midlands, North Kent and Teesside.
The party said the aggregate vote share across constituencies is showing Labour winning “several key marginals” but also seats that are “well beyond what Labour would need to win in order to win the election”. It noted that there are still lots of results to come and said the party was “confident of making more gains”.
Read more on the local elections:
- Latest updates: Labour councils won, held and lost
- Labour wins majority control of Medway for first time
- Labour win overall control in key target council Stoke
- Labour becomes largest party in Bolton but not in overall control
- Labour’s Chris Cooke takes Middlesbrough mayor post from independent
- Labour bruises the Tories in North West Leicestershire, Hartlepool, Tamworth
- What would good local election results look like for Labour?