Local elections 2019: Tory rank-and-file fire Brexit missile at PM as polls close and counting begins

THERESA May is tonight braced for a grassroots revolt as polls close in the local elections.

The Tories are expected to lose hundreds of council seats across England as furious voters abandon the party.

Conservative supporters are sending Mrs May a message – warning that if she fails to deliver Brexit the Tories will be wiped out.

Polls closed at 10pm in 248 council areas of England, as well as the whole of Northern Ireland.

The Tories are likely to lose around 800 seats – 20 per cent of their total – according to pollsters.

Labour and the Lib Dems are both hoping to pick up hundreds of councillors from the Conservatives.

But a source close to Jeremy Corbyn played down the expectation of a major breakthrough, telling The Sun that all parties were likely to see poor turnout.

Neither Nigel Farage's Brexit Party nor the pro-EU Change UK was standing in the local elections.

The results could trigger a fresh challenge to Mrs May as panicked Tories guard against disaster in the EU elections on May 23 as well as the next General Election.

Votes will be counted throughout the night with the first tallies released around midnight.

But counting will continue well into Friday in some areas, so the full results won't be known until the afternoon or evening.

What results should you watch out for?

Sunderland: This is always one area to look at on election night as it tends to give us a good picture of what might happen across the country.

Scarborough: Just one seat is needed to gain the council from the Tories. If they managed to pull it off, it might be a small win in what could be a tough night for them.

Broxtowe: Ex-Tory MP Anna Soubry defected to ChangeUK earlier this year – if voters want to punish her they could use the locals to do it.

Maidenhead: Will Theresa May face a mutiny in her own backyard?

Calderdale, Trafford, Milton Keynes and Dudley are areas Labour are hoping to make gains to give them control, or push them out of a minority administration.

Cheshire West and Chester has a majority of just one – could the Tories do well and pinch it back off them?

Northern Ireland: Will the DUP maintain a strong position there as they continue to fight for the union and oppose Mrs May’s Brexit deal?

Any signs that they are losing support could worry the Tories who are in coalition with the 10 DUP MPs after 2017’s general election.

Winchester: The Liberal Democrats only need one seat to gain control of the council here.

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