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Image caption: Ben Houchen’s third term win in the Tees Valley was something of a bright spot for the Tories

Friday saw the first results of what is likely one of the last big tests of public opinion before a general election – and the results are clear.

Labour has gained over 170 council seats, taking control of eight councils, including Milton Keynes and Nuneaton, seen as traditional bellwether seats for general elections.

There is a 9% average swing so far from the Tories since 2021, who have lost over 400 councillors and 10 councils.

Their one respite came from the Tees Valley, where incumbent Tory Ben Houchen won a third term as regional mayor.

The results are mixed for Reform UK, which have won 16.9% of the vote in Blackpool South, coming in third, however, it only won two council seats so far, both in Havant.

The Liberal Democrats and the Greens have both made modest gains, with the Lib Dems gaining more than 100 councillors and winning Tunbridge Wells and the Greens gaining more than 60 seats, and becoming the largest party in Bristol.

To read about yesterday’s results in more details, click here.

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