"The governing Labour Party's worst local poll results in 40 years could be a turning point in British politics but Prime Minister Gordon Brown still has a chance to recover," newspaper said on Saturday.
Labour limped in third behind the main opposition Conservative Party and smaller Liberal Democrats in municipal council elections in England and Wales, and lost control of the biggest political prize, the London mayoralty.
The results prompted a fresh wave of negative headlines for Brown.
"The May Day Massacre," said The Independent while The Guardian lamented "Brown's Long, Bloody Friday" and the Daily Express said simply: "Brown and Out."
In an editorial, The Times sensed a shift in the political landscape, just 10 months after Brown took over from Tony Blair and ahead of a general election due some time in the next two years.
"If Gordon Brown is eventually defeated in his bid to take Labour to a fourth term, then this is the moment that historians will determine marked the beginning of the end of his spell as prime minister," it said.
All newspapers agreed that the results which saw the Conservatives win a projected 44 per cent of the national equivalent vote, according to the BBC suggested the Tories were once again a political force.
But there was some comfort for Brown. May assessed the situation was not terminal, although long-term rebuilding would still be an uphill battle as Cameron had the momentum.
"He has already promised to 'learn the lesson'," the right of centre Daily Mail said.
"If he now gives a clear lead and concentrates on steering Britain through its economic difficulties he has arguably time to recover before the next election.