The results from Thursday’s local elections are rolling in, showing some gains for the Green party and a surge in seats for UKIP.
The elections covered 172 councils with 4,232 seats up for grabs – including every seat in all of London’s 32 boroughs.
As expected, UKIP has not gained control of any local authorities, but the party has so far claimed 92 new seats, with many coming from each of the major parties. Leader Nigel Farage insisted UKIP were now “serious players”.
“The UKIP fox is in the Westminster hen house”, he said.
Elsewhere, the Green party has gained 7 seats, including seats in Bristol and a first ever win in Birkenhead & Tranmere.
In terms of councils, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have so far lost 9 and 2 respectively, while Labour has gained 5.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has since said that he is confident he can win back supporters who have defected to UKIP.
“I think in some parts of the country we’ve had discontent building up for decades about the way the country has been run and about the way our economy works and people feeling that the country just doesn’t work for them”, he added.
“And so what you are seeing in some parts of the country is people turning to UKIP as an expression of that discontent and that desire for change.”
Meanwhile, deputy prime minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg insisted he will not resign in spite of his party’s battering at the polls.
“The Liberal Democrats, all of us, under my leadership, we realised that it was going to be tough, that it was going to be difficult doing controversial things. Joining a coalition – controversial in the first place”, he said.
“Having to take these really big, painstaking decisions to get the economy right – of course that’s not going to be universally popular. And, as I say, there is a very strong mood of restlessness, and dissatisfaction with mainstream politics, and that is reflected, if you like, in the results for all the mainstream parties, including the Liberal Democrats.”
Further results are expected to come in throughout Friday. Britain will announce its European results on Sunday, naming 73 MEPs, once voting has closed across the EU.
Photo: Martin Bamford via Flickr