UK Conservative lead stays strong ahead of June election: Opinium poll

British Prime Minster Theresa May's Conservative Party is still a strong 16 points ahead of the main opposition Labour Party ahead of a national election on June 8, according to a poll by Opinium on Saturday.

The online poll of 1,552 people was conducted on May 3 and 4.

It failed to break through against the Conservatives in southwest England but in some General Election target seats, such as Eastleigh and Wells, it made gains.

"If there is an increasingly confrontational attitude between Westminster and Brussels, the [local election] results today suggest that Theresa May is the political victor domestically of that process", said Al Jazeera's Phillips.

The leader's allies desperately tried to explain the mauling, but it marks a horrendous opening to a general election campaign which will see voters go to the polls in just over a month.

If that is true, May, emboldened by a large and pliant Tory party in the Commons, will do much as she pleases on everything from Brexit to immigration and foreign students - all worrying indicators for Indians and Indian corporates.

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Ballots were counted Friday from contests for local councils in Scotland, Wales and many parts of England, as well as from mayoral competitions in several cities.

The Conservatives made sweeping advances across the United Kingdom, gaining more than 500 councillors, winning tightly-fought battles for elected mayors in the West Midlands and Tees Valley and forcing Labour into third place in its former stronghold of Scotland.

The SNP candidate in Ochil and South Perthshire,
Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, said: "The reality of results in England is that it shows Ukip have won control of this increasingly hard-right Tory government".

Labour remain the biggest party on Bridgend council, with 26 seats, but the Conservatives, who only had one seat, now have 11.

"I won't use the word 'disaster, ' I'll use the word 'challenging, '" she told the BBC. Labour won 10 seats, the Liberal Democrats won seven seats and the Greens held their two.

Party leader Nicola Sturgeon said wresting control from Labour and becoming the biggest party on Glasgow City Council was a "fantastic, historic result".

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The Tories also performed well in the mayoral elections, winning tightly-fought battles for elected mayors in the West Midlands and significantly Tees Valley, where Conservative Ben Houchen became the first elected mayor in Labour's north-eastern heartland, beating Labour's Sue Jeffrey by more than 2,000 votes in the second round of counting.

But he said: "If the price of Britain leaving the European Union is a Tory advance after taking up this patriotic cause, then it is a price Ukip is prepared to pay".

"We have got what we wanted, but unfortunately we have been in a sense the victims of our own success", she told Sky News.

"To do that you need a proper working majority and that's what Theresa May is asking for from people who previously wouldn't have voted for us and may well have voted either Ukip or Labour".

The Labour leader described the results as "mixed" and insisted they were "closing the gap" on the Conservatives.

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