Local election results: Ukip loses almost every seat it had in night that could spell disaster for the party

The party is likely to be completely annihilated in the general election, early results show

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Indy Politics

Ukip has been completely wiped out in almost every seat it held so far.

The party has lost 80 seats so far in the local elections, with the majority switching to the Tories.

But they went to other parties too, with the Liberal Democrats taking seats from Ukip in Eastleigh, for instance.

Those Conservative gains have seen the party lose all its councillors in places that it previously had considerable support.

In Lincolnshire alone, for instance, it lost nine seats and handed over control of the council to the Conservatives.

Paul Nuttall's party lost all its seats in Hampshire and Essex too – all key battlegrounds for Ukip at next month's General Election.

Elections expert John Curtice said that Ukip "has lost everything they've been trying to defend".

The results suggested that the party was headed for wipeout at the general election, he said.

Ukip's Lisa Duffy refused to call the results a "disaster" but admitted that the night had been "very challenging" for her party.

"I won't use the word 'disaster', I'll use the word 'challenging'," she told the BBC. "We knew it was going to be a difficult night."

Nick Smith, the party's chairman in Lincolnshire insisted that party was "not going away" despite having been completely removed from power in the county.

"This is a temporary glitch for us," he told the BBC's Radio 4, he said, suggesting that the results were a consequence of the fact that the Conservatives now backed Brexit and that the country had voted to leave the EU.

But the party has also been mired in controversy in recent months. That has included the disastrous performance of new leader Paul Nuttall, who lost heavily when he attempted to contest the Stoke by-election on behalf of his party.