Sad face/happy face: The local elections in emojis

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Confused by who had a good election night and who was left disappointed? Here’s the tale of the night in emojis.

Conservatives ? (relieved)

Despite intense campaigning from Labour in a number of key targets – including some “crown jewels” in London – the Tories largely held off their traditional rivals in the overnight results, with only Plymouth switching sides.

Theresa May’s party even managing to confound expectations and win Barnet, prompting more than a few wry smiles from Tory candidates who may have been preparing for a pasting.

Some commentators observed that the Conservatives had succeeded in “expectation management” – publicly setting the bar relatively low so that anything less than a heavy defeat would look like success.

Labour ? (confused)

It began to look like it may not be a great night for Labour when Wandsworth failed to turn red, but it got worse when the the anti-Semitism row appeared to rear its head again.

First there was defeat in Salford’s Kersal ward, a former stronghold with a high proportion of Jewish voters, and then with a loss in Barnet which prompted one defeated Jewish candidate to proclaim: “We should NEVER have another election like this.”

On a night that was supposed to be about Corbyn’s party marching towards Downing Street, it was instead forced to fend off criticism of its handling of the row, compounding the failure of Momentum’s high-profile “unseat” campaign.

While the party is able to celebrate its best result in London since 1971, many commentators have observed it could have been much better – especially for an Opposition at this stage in the electoral cycle.

Lib Dems ? (smile)

There won’t be any champagne corks popping at Lib Dem HQ, but nonetheless it was a marked improvement in Vince Cable’s first electoral test as leader.

Their highlight of the night was undoubtedly victory in Richmond-upon-Thames, a result that achieved what Labour couldn’t do overnight: grabbing a London seat from the Tories.

A number of Remain-backing areas also moved towards the party, suggesting their position as the only opponents to Brexit is starting to reap at least some rewards.

Green Party ? (climbing)

With an increase of six seats to 21, the Greens moved comfortably ahead of Ukip – though this was largely due to the eurosceptic party’s dramatic collapse (more on that later). That did mean, however, that co-leader Caroline Lucas was able to boast that “we’re now, without doubt, one of the big four parties” in England.

Ukip ?(exploding head)

There’s no way around it, it was a terrible night for Ukip, whose loss of 44 seats left them with just two on the night – both in their stronghold of Derby. It was a far cry from 2014, when Nigel Farage was celebrating victory in the European poll and a 17% share of the popular vote in the local elections.

General Secretary Paul Oakley even compared his own party to the “Black Death” during a television interview.

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