Labour looks set for sweeping seat gains in next Thursday's English county and unitary authority polls, the Press Association's council by-elections analysis suggests today.
A calculation based on 13 comparable contests over April suggests a projected 7 per cent nationwide lead for the party over the Tories.
This is exactly the same as the figure in a BBC survey of last year's main council polls.
However it compares with a 15 per cent Labour deficit in 2009 when most of the seats up for election next week were last fought.
It would represent an 11 per cent net swing to the party since then from the Conservatives.
A calculation based on 10 wards fought by all three major parties gives a line-up of: Lab 38.2 per cent, C 30.9 per cent, Lib Dem 16.5 per cent.
There were no seat gains or losses in this week's four by-elections:
Cheshire East Council - Macclesfield Hurdsfield: Lab 341, Lib Dem 239, C 168, Ukip 132, Green 48. (May 2011 - Lab 526, Lib Dem 302, C 300). Lab hold. Swing 4.4 per cent Lab to Lib Dem.
Newcastle-upon-Tyne City - Castle: Lib Dem 1165, Lab 1043, Newcastle First 215, C 194, Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts 47. (May 2012 - Lib Dem 1432, Lab 991, Newcastle First 229, C 217). Lib Dem hold. Swing 5.4 per cent Lib Dem to Lab.
Newcastle-upon-Tyne City - South Heaton: Lab 798, Green 205, Lib Dem 114, Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts 69, C 52, Newcastle First 44, Ind 22. (May 2012 - Lab 1188, Green 210, Lib Dem 158, C 81, Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts 74). Lab hold. Swing 5.8 per cent Lab to Green.
Rochdale Borough - Norden: C 1081, Lab 627, Lib Dem 246, National Front 156. (May 2012 - C 1624, Lab 604, Lib Dem 175). C hold. Swing 10.5 per cent C to Lab.