7 huge shocks for the Tories as they weather local election woes

Rishi Sunak is under enormous pressure to turn things around after a tough local election campaign in which the Tories lost almost 500 council seats and suffered a huge blow

Starmer praises ‘very special moment’ of mayoral victory in Sunak’s backyard

Rishi Sunak will be licking his wounds after four bruises in which the Tories suffered defeat after defeat.

He is under immense pressure to turn things around after voters eliminated nearly 500 Conservative councilors and inflicted damaging defeats in elections for mayors and police commissioners. In a damning assessment of his record, former Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “Rishi Sunak has been Prime Minister for around 18 months. He makes these decisions.

“These are the consequences of those decisions. He has to own this, and that’s what he needs to fix it.” Here we look at some of the big things Mr Sunak will have to think about as pressure mounts on him to call a general election.

The Lib Dems force the Tories into third place

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey compared the Tories to dinosaurs(FATHER)

With the Tories under attack from all sides, the Lib Dems turned to the party. They won more than 100 council seats and returned the Conservatives to third place in England – prompting leader Sir Ed Davey to compare them to dinosaurs.

The Tories lost a whopping 473 seats when voters delivered their verdict, bringing their total number of councilors in England to 513. Labor won a further 185, leaving a total of 1,140. And the Lib Dems enjoyed a good day, gaining a further 104 seats, taking them to 521.

It was received with joy at Lib Dem headquarters and suggests there are big gains to be made in the general election. Transport Secretary Mark Harper struggled to answer Sky News’ Sir Trevor Phillips’ question: “Is it morally right for the current third most popular party to squat in Downing Street?”

Defeated Andy Street tells PM not to drift to the right after shock loss

The loss of Andy Street was a major blow to the Prime Minister(AFP via Getty Images)

No10 desperately wanted the Tory mayor of West Midlands, Andy Street, to hold on, but that was not to be. Ultimately, just over 1,500 votes sealed his fate with a hammer blow against the Prime Minister.

Street had hoped his personal profile would be enough to get him through, despite the Conservatives’ woes. He warned Mr Sunak against allowing the party to drift to the right in response.