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Local elections: Have we witnessed Peak Corbyn?

After the local election results, have we reached Peak Corbyn? Credit: PA

These were local elections that changed almost nothing.

Labour did relatively well in London but did not make the breakthroughs it desperately wanted, with the Tories hanging on to Wandsworth, Westminster and - most disappointingly for Corbyn and co - Barnet.

In north London Labour’s progress has been significantly slowed by the perception that Corbyn has failed to act decisively to cut the cancer of antisemitism from the party.

And although it won control of naval Plymouth, in general it did not demonstrate that it can build on last year’s surge in the general election to win an outright majority in the next general election and actually form a government.

Labour has not dispelled widespread worries from within its own ranks that we may have already witnessed Peak Corbyn.

The big debate that will now take place inside Labour is whether it can make the leap to appears a credible party of government without adopting a much more unambiguous anti-hard-Brexit stance.

The count at Kensington Town Hall Credit: PA

Bruised Remainers tended to vote for Labour, but not in the numbers which Corbyn would need for him to be installed in 10 Downing Street.

As for Theresa May, the results demonstrated why she is perceived to be the prisoner of the Brexiter wing of her party - because the party’s better-than-anticipated showing was largely due to the near-total collapse of UKIP and the transfer of most of their votes to Tory candidates.

So May has still not found how to design a Brexit that pleases her Brexity members and voters, while standing a chance of securing a majority in Parliament.

Her MPs will have no greater appetite to remove her - at least not till after the UK leaves the EU next March.

But they will be no more minded to be loyal to her, in that they cannot interpret the results as an overwhelming vote of confidence in them or her.

Theresa May doesn't seem to have gotten an overwhelming vote of confidence from voters Credit: PA

So we should all brace ourselves for many more weeks and months of instability and chaos in parliament and Brussels as the battles intensify over what form of Brexit is possible and desirable.

As for the LibDems, they are not quite the dead parrot some have portrayed them as. They are winning seats again and even took control of Richmond council, in Vince Cable’s home patch.

But whether Cable will be seen as the Messiah for centrist voters who feel disenfranchised is some way from being proven.