Polls for local elections across England, Scotland and Wales have closed in what could be key predictors for the general election on 8 June.

Nearly 5,000 council seats are up for grabs and eight areas have also voted on mayoral candidates, with results to be confirmed throughout Friday (5 May).

The results will be closely watched by all the major political parties who will treat the outcomes in key areas as barometers for the national elections next month.

For Labour the results will be a key test for leader Jeremy Corbyn, who potentially has the most to lose with his party defending over 1,500 seats.

However, Labour is also pitching candidates in 91% of seats and will hope to reclaim seats lost to Ukip in 2013 as well as securing possible upsets against the Conservatives.

The Conservatives are defending over 1,100 seats and pitching candidates in 96% of seats. They will be closely monitoring Wales, where they are hoping to a cause a serious upset in the general election and are on course to gain a majority in the Welsh House of Commons for the first time in 100 years.

Scotland will also be closely watched following the flurry of seats that went from Labour to the Scottish National Party in 2015, with the Tories also vying to get in the mix.

Controversial election ad

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Theresa May and the Conservatives ruffled some feathers as front-page adverts were taken out in a number of local newspapers with circulations in key seats.

The adverts resembled a typical front page with a headline that read: "Theresa May for Britain," but a smaller type at the top of the page revealed that it was an advert.

One reader of the Bury Times tweeted to his local newspaper: "Hope you can buy some integrity with the money you got from this ad."

The Liberal Democrats and Ukip are defending roughly 200 seats each and are pitching candidates in 80% and 48% of seats, respectively. The Green Party is contesting candidates in 53.9% of seats.

Mayoral races are taking place across West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Tees Valley and West of England for the first time.

Mayors in Doncaster and North Tyneside are seeking re-election.