LABOUR chiefs are under fire today after they repeatedly bigged up the party’s local election chances – only to fall far short of predictions.
A string of senior figures claimed Labour would win key councils from the Tories in London and elsewhere.
One top Corbyn ally even said it was the “easiest” election he’d ever taken part in because he was so confident of a Labour surge.
But instead the party fell short in every London battleground, and ending up LOSING seats in other parts of the country.
Political experts said Labour had shot themselves in the foot with their bullish predictions.
Six months ago, London Mayor Sadiq Khan vowed to take on the Tories in Barnet and Wandsworth – both Conservative-held for decades.
He said in a speech: “There is now no corner of London where Labour can’t win.
“With enough hard work we can challenge the Tories even in their crown jewels of Wandsworth and Barnet.”
The party poured resources into Wandsworth, sending Mr Khan to campaign alongside Home Secretary Diane Abbott.
Yesterday Ms Abbott wrote on Twitter: “Let’s make Wandsworth a Labour gain.”
But the Tories managed to hold on to the seat – even improving their position compared to last year’s General Election.
In Barnet, local Labour figures boasted they would win a majority on the council.
London Assembly member Andrew Dismore told The Sun: “What’s helping us is how useless the Tories have been – it’s been one c**k-up after another and they’ve made some very unpopular decisions.”
The Conservatives ended up winning MORE seats in Barnet as voters deserted Labour in response to the anti-Semitism scandal.
Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan launched the party’s local elections campaign in Westminster in a symbol of their ambitions in the wealthy seat.
But the Tories held on easily despite Labour picking up a few councillors.
Just over an hour to go until polls close. Still too close to call. Who knows what the next few hours could bring. There’s still time to make sure that you wake up tomorrow with a Labour council which really cares in Kensington and Chelsea!
— Emma Dent Coad (@emmadentcoad) May 3, 2018
Another target in London was Hillingdon, in the west of the city – John McDonnell said: “I think we can take Hillingdon, with a bit of effort now, we can take this borough back to Labour control.”
The Conservatives improved their position in the borough.
Emma Dent Coad, MP for Kensington, last night said her local area was “too close to call” – but after the results were announced, the Tories still held a massive majority.
During the campaign Chris Williamson, the hard-left MP for Derby North, commented: “It’s the easiest period to campaign for Labour in my entire life.”
Labour lost control of Derby City Council to the Conservatives.
Mr Corbyn has also held campaign events in Thurrock, Essex and Swindon, Wiltshire – two more areas where Labour failed to advance.
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Experts warned that the party’s attempts to hype up its own chances have led to the eventual result being seen as a flop.
Dr Matthew Mokhefi-Ashton of Nottingham Trent University said: “In order to motivate its voters to turnout, Labour overemphasised its chances of winning in some fairly unlikely areas.
“Their failure to win, combined with high expectations, now makes their result look significantly worse than it is.”
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