Party campaigns get up and running in local elections as Labour could be set to lose 150 council seats

 
James Nickerson
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Farage is thought to be repositioning Ukip for a post-referendum world (Source: Getty)

A number of political parties have got their campaigns up and running ahead of this year's local elections.

The UK Independence Party today launched its local election campaign, while the Green party got started this week, with the London mayoral, assembly and local elections set to take place this summer.

Ukip even launched a dedicated website, on which leader Nigel Farage said in a video: "Ukip is the only party showing real growth in local government, while the other parties are trying to hang on to what they have

"Every year more and more Ukip councillors are being elected. We are giving people and communities what they deserve, more power for local people and local communities and more say over what happens in your street, village, town and city.

"We are doing this by offering local referenda on big issues. We promise an alternative of direct democracy and empowering the people who elect us. Ukip is putting democracy back into local government," he added.

Ukip is thought to be repositioning itself for a post-referendum world, given its historical focus has thus far been on exiting the EU.

The Greens, for their part, launched a satirical video to hit out at what it called "playground politics", hoping to persuade voters to turn to its London mayoral candidate Sian Berry, as well as whip up support more generally.

Meanwhile, Labour has come under pressure this week after it was accused of getting excuses in early after Jon Trickett, the MP in charge of Labour's local election campaign, said any progress on 2015 would be positive - even if that means losing a number of council seats.

Tricket wrote: "In Britain, politics has become much more fragmented since 2012 with the continued rise of Ukip and nationalist parties in Scotland and Wales."

Pressure won't have been relieved by analysis also out this week by leading academics Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher, who said the party could be set to lose 150 council seats. They studied council by-election results and came to the conclusion based on Labour's recent performance.

However, Labour's Sadiq Khan is still leading in the polls against Tory Zac Goldsmith for the London mayoral election, which is widely seen as a two-horse race, despite a record 12 candidates this year.

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