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U.K.’s Local Votes Offer First Clues to May’s Electoral Fortunes

  • Almost 5,000 seats fought across England, Wales and Scotland
  • Forecasters see Conservatives gaining seats from Labour
Prime Minister Theresa May walks from her car to make a statement in Downing Street after returning from Buckingham Palace on May 3, in London.

Prime Minister Theresa May walks from her car to make a statement in Downing Street after returning from Buckingham Palace on May 3, in London.

Photographer: Carl Court/Getty Images

Local elections in the U.K. on Thursday will offer the first real test of how well Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party is performing in the much bigger June 8 general-election fight -- and how badly Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour opposition is doing.

Almost 5,000 council seats are being contested across England, Wales and Scotland, in addition to votes for six new regional mayors. The winners will control schools, trash collection and planning decisions in their areas.