LONDON, May 5 (Xinhua) -- The early results of local elections across Britain on Friday gave British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives a massive boost ahead of the June 8 snap general election.
As the first results came in from towns and cities across England, Scotland and Wales, the Conservatives were making significant gains at the expense of the main opposition Labor Party and the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).
If backed by the ensuing results throughout Friday, political commentators said, it would mark one of the best days for the Conservatives for some years.
John Curtice, professor of Politics from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, said the Conservatives had so far performed best in elections since at least 2008.
Almost 5,000 seats on city, county and town councils were up for grabs in Thursday's elections, with the results predicted to be an indicator for June 8 when the snap general election for the 650 parliamentary seats takes place.
During overnight counting of votes, the Conservatives gained control of at least five local councils, while the Labor Party lost control at some town halls.
Early wins for the Conservatives included the control of councils in Lincolnshire and Warwickshire.
By mid-morning, the Conservatives had gained 165 seats in England and Wales, while the Labor Party had lost 127, and the UKIP had lost 42.
As Labor retained control of city hall in Cardiff, capital of Wales, the Liberal Democrats lost seats in Wales, while Wales' national party Plaid Cymru picked up a handful.
Welsh Labor MP Stephen Kinnock, son of former Labor leader Neil Kinnock, described the early results as a pretty disastrous picture for the Labor Party.
"It is simply not good enough for a party that has been in opposition for seven years, heading towards a general election in five weeks, to not be picking up seats and making forward progress," he said in a television interview.
Counting of votes in Scotland only started Friday morning, but there was speculation that Nicola Sturgeon's Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) would emerge as the largest party in Glasgow, but without an overall majority.
For the UKIP, which was set up nearly 30 years ago to campaign for Britain's withdrawal from the European Union, the early signs were bad.
The first results showed it had lost more than 40 seats.
Britain's first ever metro mayors were also being elected, with the Conservatives waiting to announce their winning in the West of England.
Tim Bowles was declared the winner in the West of England metro mayor race after a close election battle with Labor rival Lesley Ann Mansell. The metro mayor's area covers Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North East Somerset and the historic tourism city of Bath.
Counting was going on in Manchester and Liverpool where Labor was predicted to be favorites to win both metro-mayor elections. The result in Birmingham was said to be on a knife-edge.