Local elections 2022: What does it all mean for Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer?

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Anushka Asthana breaks down some of the key local election results in England

Having all those London wins overnight helps Labour to drive a more positive narrative from the start - which they were desperate to do this time - after letting the narrative crush them last year, despite some more positive results at end of counting.

And the London story is obviously hugely significant. Boris Johnson is facing a drubbing in a city that once fell in love with him. But it’s also not totally unexpected for Tories.

It was bad news losing Barnet but they’d already lost seats in Wandsworth at the previous general election, so losing control of that council was not a massive surprise.

Liberal Democrat advances in areas such as Southampton, potentially Worthing, and other parts of the south, will really worry Conservatives. Although they will hope their voters stayed at home instead of backing an opponent and could still come back in a general election.

But everyone wants to try to map Red Wall results from yesterday's local poll onto a possible general election.

As former Number 10 pollster James Johnson notes, it would be incorrect to say Labour is not winning back the Red Wall of the traditional heartlands it lost at the 2019 general election.

The seats up for grabs at the 2022 local elections had not been contested since 2018, when Labour was still in control of the red wall.

"Labour standing still or even going back slightly in Red Wall areas in these elections *is* progress for Labour," said Mr Johnson.

Labour and the Tories were neck and neck in vote share (both on 35%) at the 2018 locals, so it is true to say that standing still in some places is progress for Labour. But not anywhere near enough progress to be looking at majority.

It will be interesting to see, as more results are declared, the specific areas where Tory MPs beat Labour in 2019 and where winning back those seats would start to make Keir Starmer competitive - while Tories successfully defending them would suggest they are holding the line.

So gains in Cumberland are a really big deal for Labour - (and for the Conservatives) - in a place they need to win seats, and standing still in somewhere like Wolverhampton, isn’t as bad as it sounds.

But with the party losing control of Hull City Council and not making progress in some other areas, the question will be: Is it enough for Labour to mount a competitive challenge at a general election?

At the moment experts are saying it was a bad night for the Tories but probably not good enough for Labour.

We will be able to say more as many significant councils declare this afternoon.

On the Blue Wall of Tory heartlands in the south west, Somerset council is one to watch closely this afternoon.

If Lib Dems make big gains there that will really worry a lot of the parliamentary Conservative Party.