Theresa May’s hopes of a General Election victory on June 8 have been boosted after local contests showed Labour suffering losses and the Ukip vote collapsing.

The Conservatives won the West of England metro mayor election and gained control of five councils on an encouraging night for the Prime Minister.

In Liverpool City Region - comprised of Merseyside plus Halton in Cheshire - votes will be counted in the metro mayor election from 9.30am today with the result expected around 3pm.

Early indications suggest a turn out of less than 30% across Merseyside and Halton.

Counting of votes in the by-election for a councillor for Wirral's Claughton ward - caused by the death of Cllr Denise Roberts earlier this year - will also take place this morning.

Nationally, Ukip suffered significant reverses with voters switching to the Tories in a pattern which could provide a major boost to Mrs May as she hopes to strengthen her grip on power next month.

The Liberal Democrats were having a mixed election, failing to breakthrough against the Tories in the south-west England battleground.

Labour was dealt a severe blow in the south Wales valleys, with independents taking control of Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil – where the final three seats will be declared on June 8 with Labour needing to win them all to regain a majority.

In Bridgend – the stronghold of First Minister and Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones – the party lost control.

Mrs May had targeted Bridgend with a campaign visit in an effort to boost the Tory presence in Wales.

Things could get worse for Labour when counting begins in Scotland, with experts forecasting heavy losses for Mr Corbyn’s party.

In the contests for new metro mayors, Conservative Tim Bowles defeated Labour’s Lesley Mansell in the run-off for the West of England post, covering Bristol and Bath.

With full results declared by 17 of the 88 councils holding elections in England, Scotland and Wales, the Tories had control of nine authorities, including five gains.

Mrs May’s party had 429 councillors, a net gain of 109, while Labour had 231, a net loss of 58.

Among the authorities which had declared their final results Labour had control of two councils and had lost control of two.