UK & World News
Labour Celebrates As Tories Suffer At Polls
Ed Miliband has said Labour is "winning back trust" after the party's big gains in the local elections, as David Cameron blamed the Conservative losses on "difficult" economic times.
After a bruising night for the Tories and Liberal Democrats, Labour claimed it was "exceeding expectations" by seizing control of key councils such as Thurrock, Harlow, Southampton and Birmingham.
The Opposition also took Great Yarmouth, Chorley and Plymouth and a number of councils in Wales.
The Prime Minister suffered the added embarrassment of losing in the backyard of his Commons constituency - with Labour taking Witney Central, Witney East and Chipping Norton.
With more than half of votes counted, Labour have gained 31 councils, with more than 800 new seats.
The Tories have lost more than 400 seats and the Lib Dems more than 300, leaving Nick Clegg's party with its lowest number of seats ever.
Mr Miliband said the message from the results was that Labour was "getting back in touch with people's concerns".
"We are a party winning back people's trust, regaining ground, but there is more work to do," he said.
"I know that David Cameron promised change and has disappointed people. I am determined that we can deliver Britain the change it needs.
"People are hurting. People are suffering from this recession, people are suffering from a Government that raises taxes for them and cuts taxes for millionaires. I think that's what we saw last night."
But not everyone was happy for Mr Miliband - the Labour leader was hit with an egg during a walkabout in Southampton.
He later made light of it, tweeting: "For those wondering about egg's origins, fairly sure it wasn't free range but nothing can take away from cracking result in Southampton."
Earlier, Mr Cameron said he was "sorry" for all the "hard-working Conservatives" who had lost their seats against a "difficult national backdrop".
"These are difficult times and there aren't easy answers," he said.
"What we have to do is take the difficult decisions to deal with the debt, deficit and broken economy that we've inherited and we will go on making those decisions and we've got to do the right thing for our country."
In a further blow to the Tories, many cities ignored pleas from the Prime Minister and used a series of referendums to reject proposals to opt for elected mayors.
Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield and Coventry voted No, and there are signs that others have also dismissed the plan.
Meanwhile, Labour's Joe Anderson has become Liverpool's first elected mayor.
The councillor, who has until now been leader of Liverpool City Council, won the city's first mayoral elections at the first count with 58,448 votes.
Boris Johnson will hope to restore some Tory pride when the results of the London mayoral contest are announced tonight.
The Liberal Democrats were not spared pain overnight, suffering a further cull of their councillors as voters seemingly punished the Government for austerity measures.
One of the party's highest-profile casualties was the former leader of Edinburgh Council, Jenny Dawe, who lost to new SNP councillor Sandy Howat.
The Lib Dems were handed another blow in Cardiff when former council leader Rodney Berman lost his seat in the Plasnewydd ward.
Mr Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, said he was "really sad that so many" of his Liberal Democrat councillors have lost their seats.
But he insisted his party would "continue to play our role" in the coalition government in "rescuing, repairing and reforming the British economy".
"It's not an easy job and it can't be done overnight but our duty is to boost jobs and investment and to restore a sense of hope and optimism to our country," he added.
Despite the large Labour gains, there was a setback in Bradford, with the party's council leader, Ian Greenwood, defeated by a Respect candidate.
The result emulated George Galloway's shock success in last month's parliamentary by-election.
Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman said Labour's wins were "very encouraging".
She told Sky News: "Conservatives are out of touch, and what people are saying on their doorsteps and with their votes is that they're worried about jobs and living standards.
"It's a message to the Government to change course on the economy."
But Local Government Secretary and former Tory chairman Eric Pickles told Sky News Labour's gains were to be expected.
He said: "When a party is rock bottom there's only one way to go. But I'm not seeking to rain on Labour's parade."
Polls closed at 10pm on Thursday with the political parties facing their biggest test of public opinion since the 2010 general election.
Voters across England, Scotland and Wales cast their ballots for about 5,000 seats across 181 local councils.
Results in many areas up and down the UK were marked by a low turnout, estimated at little over 30% nationwide.
It prompted the Tories to suggest that "apathy" had played a significant part in the results.
what do you think?
No Mayor! Whoopbleedineeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!
Both are as bad as the other tbh...People seem to forget the mess the Labour Party put this country into, as well as the mess the Coalition seems to be getting into..Labour's biggest mistake was putting the wrong brother in charge of the Party, too late as if they had got rid of Brown earlier then maybe something good may have happened instead of a toothless, infighting Coalition.
william piero chainey
As you can tell us British have had enough.
Cameron has no one but himself to blame for the tory defeat.I believe these losses could have been reduced up to 30% if only he had implemented some of his election promises mainly immigration, law and order and education as well as EEC reform. Instead he has implimented change that has never been asked for except perhaps bankers and his wealthy cronies one one side and on the other laws that benefit minority pressure groups ,daft green ideology and dictates from his handlers in Europe Until he listens to the other 90% he and his party of spivs and cheats will be doomed to failure.
I was DISGUSTED to find in my area I could only vote either Labour or Conservative.
Er, do you understand how the system of candidates and parties works?
I hope the conservatives never get in again , after what comeron, s done to us , i bet he hasn,t had any of his money stopped , i hope he falls flat on his face .
As you were chaps, every body is happy with the Lib/Lab/Cons
heh heh now mr grant gerry whay you got to say about that then. your tory friends fairly humiliated. although no doubht like your cronies you will stick your head in the sand and put it down to mid term blues. thats your problem you just dont listen. well keep it up my freind for another couple of years and see what happens. oh and by the way have a nice day ha ha
Camoron now are you laughing at us all. I think not you dummy
what do they expect with incompetent mp's forcing their barmy ideas on to the rest of us, its about time we had a system in place to boot out the ones that are useless every 4 years is too long they can do a lot of damage in that time,!!!!
Of course this is all Liebors fault... Of course this is just mid term blues It's because we're cleaning up the mess that we were left.... This leaves us on course to win the next election This means that the Conservatives will be power fo decades and decades..... Blah blah blah..........
Windows Live User
And while we are involved in this the Argies are making adverts of men training on our war memorials in the Falklands !! Sickening people
Well, I'm pleased for Boris, but hope that Cameron gets the message that people don't want him! At least when party members voted on a new leader, I didn't vote for Cameron as I could see nothing worse than a Tory government not behaving like one! If he had any integrity at all, he would have let Labour and the LibDems go into coalition and wait for the fall out, then he could have won an outright victory. Cuts at home and in our defences, yet he can splash out money on overseas aid and in supporting the Euro!
Haha! Excellent news. I am no fan of the labour party but they are most certainly the lesser of 2 evils. Only 2 years left of this shower then we can return to a government with a bit more empathy for those that are not filthy rich. Oh and lolz at the traitor lib dems- you reap what you sow liars!
You mean people like Big Tony, Margaret Hodge, My Lord Sainsbury and a few others -- they`ll put the rich guys in their place.
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people have very, very, very short memories. keep the faith, we're one of the few countries in europe who are turning it around. the conservatives did it after labour destroyed the country in the 70's, they can do it again.
And as the Titanic slipped beneath the waves he as head to say " keep the faih, everything is fine...."
ANDY MAY KIS ON A DIFFERENT PLANET WHEN HE TALKS ABOT LABOUR DESTROYING THE COUNTRY!!!! MAGGIE THATCHER PUT MORE PEOPLE ON THE DOLE SOLD OFF ALL OUR UTILITIES WHICH WE OWNED AS A TAX PAYER. PUT BUS COMPANIES LORRIY FIRMS AND DECIMATED THE STEEL INDUSTRY!!!!!!!! YOU WNAT TO TRY TALKING THROUGH YOUR MOUTH THE OTHER END IS NOT WORKING!!!! LIKE THIS COUNTRY. DUMBER AND DUMBER ARE DOING THE SAME THEY COULD NOT RUN A RACE NEVER MIND A COUNTRY. WHAT WE GOT NO ARMY NO NAVY NO AIRFORCE NO POLICE NURSES BEING LAYED OFF.COMPANIES GOING BUST AT 77 PER DAY NOT BAD FOR THE TORIES AND WHATS THAT OTHER PARTY ??OH THE WE WILL VOTE FOR CONSERVATIVE APRTY POLICIES ONCE KNOWN AS LIB DEMS.AND WE WONT PUT UP TUITION FEES!!!
jeff smith, you present a well constructed and well informed arguement. i'd like to thank you for helping me see the light in such an articulate manner.
Ha ha ha ha....Were coming back..Were coming back..Wait and see in the next General Election..Bye Bye ConDem...Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha....Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!! Ha ha ha ha ha :-) Beautifull Beautifull Beautifull Labour xxxx
I hope this is a sign that people are waking up at long last and it follows through to the next election. Surely the Lib Dems have got the message by now. once a party which was electable to one that has now returned to the back of beyond, We may be heading for a democracy in the UK at last.