Local elections 2018: It’s all about Brexit

“Being a Remainer and voting Labour is like being a vegetarian and ordering steak”, was the meme making the rounds on social media before yesterday’s local elections.

And so it proved to be as the first results trickled in this morning.

With UKIP all but obliterated across the country Labour failed to make expected gains in key areas, with Wandsworth, Westminster and Barnet going to the Conservatives in London.

Although many commentators have pointed to the unrealistic expectations of picking up seats in these areas it is evident that the shadow of Brexit continues to loom over the party.

The BBC’s assistant political editor, Norman Smith, says broadly speaking Labour are losing out in areas that were pro-Remain.

“Brexit is still the “huge cloud” that hangs over all our politics including local elections,” he said, adding that the Conservatives have come through the night largely unscathed, despite a significant loss in Trafford.

It will be viewed as a missed opportunity for Labour, who have yet to map out a clear policy on Britain’s divorce from the European Union.

The Liberal Democrats, who have peddled a clear anti-Brexit line, managed to secure key seats in places such as Richmond in what is being deemed as a huge protest against Brexit.

Conversely, the Tories hoovered up lost UKIP votes in strong Leave areas, leaving Labour in the wilderness.

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