Elections in England, Wales and Scotland: As it happened

Key points

  • Conservative Boris Johnson has been re-elected as mayor of London
  • Labour make big gains in English local elections, with the BBC projecting a 38% vote share ahead of the Tories' 31% and Lib Dems' 16%
  • Nine cities reject the idea of an elected mayor, but Bristol says "yes". Doncaster also votes to keep its mayor
  • The SNP pulls ahead as the largest party in the Scottish council elections, while the Lib Dem vote collapses in several areas
  • Labour leader Ed Miliband says the election shows his party are "regaining ground"
  • David Cameron says the elections took place against a "difficult national backdrop" for the Conservatives

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  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
    2200:

    Thursday 3 May: Welcome to the BBC's election coverage, with live updates of results and commentary from the local elections in England, Wales and Scotland, and mayoral elections in London, Liverpool and Salford.

     
  4.  
    2203:

    Click here for an outline of the expected timings of results overnight and during the day on Friday.

     
  5.  
    2205:

    The SNP will be hoping they can maintain their momentum after last year's spectacular Scottish Parliament victory. This year will see many close battles, particularly against Labour, and much talk ahead of the polls has been about the critical battle in Glasgow. Labour require a single gain to take control whereas the SNP would need a substantial 19, but the SNP gained five Scottish Parliament constituencies from Labour in the city last year, reducing it to three - so it's not beyond the realms of possibility.

     
  6.  
    2206: Ross Hawkins Political correspondent, BBC News

    A Labour source says the party is confident of progress in key areas in the Midlands and South where there are no Labour MPs and where it needs to win in the 2015 general election.

     
  7.  
    2209:

    You can watch the BBC's Vote 2012 special on BBC One and the BBC News Channel, from 2335 BST on Thursday to 0400 BST on Friday morning. Coverage switches to BBC Two later on Friday, with regular updates between 1200 BST and 1800 BST.

     
  8.  
    2211: wickedlymale

    comments on the BBC News website: So, the Conservatives will lose seats, Labour will gain some. One will say "We did better than we expected" and the other "We did really well" cant we have something new please?

     
  9.  
    2212: Lincoln Council

    tweets: The first ballot box has arrived at the @lincdrillhall from Carholme ward ready to be verified and counted #localgov #elections

     
  10.  
    2212:

    Listen to an Election Special from midnight until 0400 BST on Radio 4, and from 0030 BST until 0500 BST on Radio 5Live.

     
  11.  
    2213:

    And of course there will comprehensive coverage of the night's events on the BBC News website, and on Twitter at #bbcvote2012.

     
  12.  
    2215:

    For more on all things election, you can visit our dedicated Vote 2012 page.

     
  13.  
    2218:

    In England, 128 councils are holding elections, with some or all of the seats up for grabs. In Scotland, 32 unitary district council elections have taken place, with all seats available, and in Wales, 21 out of 22 unitary district councils are conducting elections, again with all seats available.

     
  14.  
    2219:

    The BBC's Tim Iredale is reporting that most areas in Yorks and Lincs reporting low turnout. @iredalepolitics

     
  15.  
    2219:

    Reports from Rochdale that power went out five minutes ago in the building where the count for three council wards is meant to start. Electricians are on site, but counting won't start until the power is restored. No estimated declaration time as of yet.

     
  16.  
    2222:

    BBC Wales reporter Rhodri Lewis says the first ballot boxes have already arrived at the key Conservative-held Vale of Glamorgan Council.

     
  17.  
    2222: grumpysleepless

    comments on the BBC News website: Anybody but the three main parties, they have proved year after year that they think the general public does not know anything about politics and ignored anything we say.

     
  18.  
    2222: ziggyboy

    comments on the BBC News website: Turnout seems to have been low in my neck of the woods. I agree with those who say if you didn't vote you are not in a position to comment or complain.

     
  19.  
    2223:

    People in Liverpool, London and Salford have voted for their mayor, while 10 other cities - Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Coventry, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wakefield - held referendums on whether to introduce directly-elected mayors.

     
  20.  
    2223:

    Bucking the trend is Doncaster, where residents voted in a referendum on whether to abolish their mayor.

     
  21.  
    2224: Political analyst Lewis Baston

    tweets: Come on #Sunderland... do your amazing fast vote counting thing... *drums fingers waiting for results*

     
  22.  
    2227:

    One local council candidate is already celebrating. Rashid Hussain, standing in the Pollock ward of Glasgow, has become a father after his pregnant wife was taken to hospital this afternoon. Just after polls closed it was announced she had given birth to a healthy eight-pound boy. Mr Hussein will find out if his political ambitions have been delivered after votes in the city are counted tomorrow.

     
  23.  
    2227:

    Early indications point to a record low turnout amongst Scotland's four million voters. Councils will begin counting ballot papers tomorow morning with the battle for control of the country's biggest cities expected to command most attention.

     
  24.  
    2228:

    In 2008 - the last time these same seats were up for grabs - the Conservatives gained 257 councillors - and 12 councils - across England and Wales. Labour lost 334 councillors and nine councils, while the Lib Dems gained 33 councillors and one council. Since then, of course, the political landscape has changed completely so expect a very different outcome this time.

     
  25.  
    2231: PoliticsHome.com editor Paul Waugh

    tweets: Tory sources say it rained in Bromley all day, worried about key blue heartland turnout. But low London turnout overall cd be bad for Ken

     
  26.  
    2232: BBC Radio Oxford's Emma Vardy

    reports the first ballot boxes have begun to arrive at the Oxford town hall count. Some 90 people have been employed here to count the votes tonight. Some are council staff but others are from local banks and brought in to help the counting take place.

     
  27.  
    2232:

    In London, Conservative Boris Johnson is hoping to secure a second term as mayor. Six other hopefuls are trying to stop him, including former mayor and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone. To find out more about all seven, check out our handy guide.

     
  28.  
    2238:

    With no counts taking place in London overnight, current mayor Boris Johnson is not due to find out until about 23:00 BST on Friday whether he has secured a second term.

    Boris Johnson and wife
     
  29.  
    2238:

    The power has been restored to the counting hall in Rochdale. All candidates, agents and supporters were asked to vacate when the power was turned off and as yet have not returned. Counting should begin around 22:45.

     
  30.  
    2240:

    Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones says: "It's been a great day on the doorstep - people are coming home to Labour."

     
  31.  
    2242: The BBC's Peter Henley, in Southampton

    tweets: Ballot boxes arriving thick and fast in Southampton but reports it's a low turn out overall #BBCVote2012

     
  32.  
    2242: BBC Newcastle

    reports ballot boxes arriving at Hartlepool count and counting beginning.

     
  33.  
    2244:

    Unitary authorities, single transferable vote, annual canvass... elections are full of jargon. To help you wade through it, we've put together a comprehensive guide and a glossary.

     
  34.  
    2244: D, Basildon

    emails: I was disappointed that not one political party attempted to canvas, door knock, leaflet drop - nothing in my area. I'm sure turnout will be low.

     
  35.  
    2245: Edinburgh South Labour MP Ian Murray

    tweets: Turnout in Edinburgh very patchy. Some wards up to 40%, some as low as 20.

     
  36.  
    2248: Daniel Byles, Tory MP for North Warwickshire and Bedworth

    I got through two rosettes today - the cardboard backs disintegrated in the rain

     
  37.  
    2249:

    In Wales, the assembly's First Minister Carwyn Jones has claimed that people are "coming home to Labour" as the party hopes to regain much of the ground they lost in 2008. He said: "Welsh Labour's campaign has been rooted in the needs, challenges and aspirations of local communities across Wales. And people have responded to that campaign with passion that has excited and enthused in equal measure."

     
  38.  
    2249:

    The BBC's elections expert Professor John Curtice says the first key ward from Sunderland shows an enormous swing to Labour and a big drop in both Con and Lib Dem support.

     
  39.  
    2251:

    Reports from Bury that councillors Mary D'Albert (St Marys) and Vic D'Albert (Holyrood) are likely to lose their seats; they are Lib Dem and married.

     
  40.  
    2251: Daniel in Atherton

    emails: I wanted to vote but at the end, didn't go. It was almost impossible to find relevant information about all candidates on internet. The info I found and leaflets that came through my doors were all full of irrelevant issues and blaming opponents. I wanted to hear what they wanted to achieve and change for me as resident.

     
  41.  
    2252:

    Comparisons will be made between today's results and those last year. Then, against all expectations, the Conservatives made a small net gain in their number of councillors and councils. Labour made a net gain of 839 councillors and 26 councils, but suffered in Scotland, where the SNP took an overall majority. For the Lib Dems, 2011 was bleak - they lost 9 of the 19 councils they were defending.

     
  42.  
    2254:

    From Coventry, early indications suggest that the turnout for the city's mayoral referendum has been very low. This is being blamed on the appalling weather, with the region suffering constant rain throughout the day.

     
  43.  
    2257:

    Coventry is one of 10 English cities - along with Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wakefield - that have held a referendum on whether to introduce a directly-elected mayor. The BBC's Nick Robinson says he expects many of them to reject the idea.

     
  44.  
    2258: John Prescott, former Labour deputy prime minister,

    tweets: Well done to everyone who campaigned for Labour. Whatever the results, you're all winners in my eyes. Now go down the pub!

     
  45.  
    2258:

    If you're not convinced why these elections matter, we've come up with 11 reasons for you.

     
  46.  
    2259: Dave Tingle in Loughborough

    emails: Why can't we have secure online voting? Students Unions (which usually had relatively poor turnouts) are adopting them all over the country and have tripled the turnout (some get 60-70% now).

     
  47.  
    2259: Conservative Home's Tim Montgomerie

    tweets: V disappointing if rumours true and Birmingham has rejected directly-elected Mayor. Mayors are essential for a more decentralised Britain.

     
  48.  
    2303: Arif Ansari Political editor, North West

    in Liverpool, is told by a senior Labour source that Labour candidate Joe Anderson might well have won the mayoral vote on the first ballot.

     
  49.  
    2304: Andrew Sinclair Political Correspondent, BBC East

    reports that Labour are very confident they will take Harlow from the Conservatives tonight and make gains in Cambridge, Basildon and Great Yarmouth.

     
  50.  
    2304: Brian Meechan BBC Wales political reporter

    reports an expectation in Monmouthshire of a "very poor turnout". This mirrors feedback from the main parties, with low turnout expected across many parts of Wales.

     
  51.  
    2305: A7XfoREVer2705

    comments on the BBC News website: If people feel so disinterested with the main parties then they should actually do some research into the other lesser parties such as UKIP. Their manifestos are online so they are easily accessible.

     
  52.  
    2305: Rotherham Lad

    comments on the BBC News website: I remember my first election (1980s) when I couldn't wait to cast my vote - there was a clear choice: Lab or Con. Can't remember the last time I voted with any enthusiasm: They're all the same now, and have been for far too long!

     
  53.  
    2306:

    Reports of a low turnout continue with Reading the latest to indicate a low showing at the polls.

     
  54.  
    2307: BBC elections expert John Curtice

    says second result from Sunderland also shows a large swing to Labour since 2008 and substantial drops in both Conservative and Lib Dem support. Perhaps even more importantly both results show a small swing from Con to Labour since last year, which is precisely what Labour will want to happen across the country as a whole to demonstrate that they are making progress under Ed Milliband's leadership.

     
  55.  
    2310:

    In Rushmoor, Hampshire, Lib Dem officials are predicting the party has been "wiped out" losing its last three councillors.

     
  56.  
    2310: noisepolice

    comments on the BBC News website: That this election is seen as a litmus test for national government represents a failure of partisan politics to provide credible government at all levels.

     
  57.  
    2311: BBC Radio Derby's Chris Doidge

    reports candidates in Derby say turnout is well down on last year. Official says postal vote returns down around 5%, indicating it is not just the weather.

     
  58.  
    2311:

    As polls closed a Welsh Conservative Party spokesman admitted that it was going to be a challenging night: "Given the difficult situation inherited by the coalition in Westminster and the tough decisions that must be taken, we recognise that this may not be an easy night in parts of the country."

     
  59.  
    2311:

    Plaid Cymru changed its leader after last year's disappointing Welsh Assembly election results. In 2008, the party returned 205 councillors, a gain of 31. Caerphilly and Carmarthenshire councils present its best chances of taking control.

     
  60.  
    2312: iffityjif

    comments on the BBC News website: I took my 4 year old twins with me to vote and explained to them I was choosing who I thought would be best to clean up all the dog poo in our neighbourhood.

     
  61.  
    2313: Andrew Sinclair Political Correspondent, BBC East

    says Labour have already made a gain on Cambridge Council: a Green councillor defected this morning to the party.

     
  62.  
    2316:

    A reminder that the hashtag is #bbcvote2012 to follow the night's events on Twitter.

     
  63.  
    2316: Jack Chandler

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay It was so hard to choose who to vote for, I never had any leaflet or visit from anyone so what did I have to base it on?

     
  64.  
    2317:

    Reports that polling station in Ealing & Hillingdon, west London, had reported hardly anyone voting until parents started collecting children from school. Turnout was remarkably low even then.

     
  65.  
    2317:

    What about the state of the smaller parties? Well, the UK Independence Party currently has 31 councillors in the UK, and they're fielding 722 candidates in these elections. The Greens have 130 councillors in England and Wales and are fielding 965 candidates. In Scotland, they currently have eight - but haven't announced how many are going for it this time.

     
  66.  
    2318: Ed Parker

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay political parties need to stop complaining about poor voter turn outs & start actually campaign. I didn't hear from anyone.

     
  67.  
    2319: Matthew in York

    emails: As an under-18 who (obviously) can't vote, I find it incredibly disappointing that there is such a low turnout as I would relish the opportunity to have my say in the running of this country. I would strongly support a move to allow 16-year-old people to vote.

     
  68.  
    2319: Sarah in Sunderland

    emails: All those people who haven't bothered to vote shouldn't complain about the results. Too apathetic to make a difference yet too quick to criticise.

     
  69.  
    2320:

    First result from Basildon is similar to the two Sunderland results with large swings to Labour and substantial declines in Con and Lib Dem support. Here too the Con support is down on last year, suggesting that the recent reverses in the party's national poll rating may well be reflected in tonight's results.

     
  70.  
    2323:

    Labour's Ken Livingstone is one of seven candidates in the London mayoral election.

    Ken Livingstone
     
  71.  
    2323: BBC Wales

    As polling stations closed tonight across the country, it was Welsh Labour who came out in a very confident mood as First Minister Carwyn Jones said in a statement it had "been a great day on the doorstep ... in communities across Wales ... people are coming home to Labour. We have a long night ahead, but we're confident of taking another leap forward". Labour sources say they are expecting gains in Cardiff, Bridgend and Newport.

     
  72.  
    2326: BBC Wales

    Plaid Cymru say it's too early to make judgements but on the doorstep "it's been quite difficult in some areas and much easier in others". They're admitting that a low turnout will work against their candidates.

     
  73.  
    2326: Kayleigh Marie Grady

    got in touch viaFacebook: Hurray for postal votes, saved me a load of hassle

     
  74.  
    2329:

    In Kingston-upon-Hull, reports turnout about to be declared at 18.7%.

     
  75.  
    2330: BBC Wales

    The Welsh Conservatives say early information indicates that their vote has held up quite well in many counties after fielding "a record number of candidates". However a party spokesman admitted "given the difficult situation inherited by the coalition in Westminster and the tough decisions that must be taken, we recognise that this may not be an easy night in parts of the country". The Conservatives would expect to hold Monmouthshire but may struggle to hang on to the Vale of Glamorgan in the face of a Labour challenge.

     
  76.  
    2330: BBC Wales

    The Liberal Democrats are staying very tight-lipped about their prospects in Wales. However they admit there appears to be a low turnout in some of the counties where they're currently the leading party in power - especially in Swansea.

     
  77.  
    2331:

    The second result from Basildon shows a very large swing to Labour even since last year with something of a decline in the Lib Dem vote. On the limited evidence so far, it is possible that a Labour advance is going to be apparent in the south of England as well as in the North.

     
  78.  
    2334: Jonathan Phillips

    tweets: Why are Sunderland always the quickest at #electionresults ?

     
  79.  
    2334:

    Reports from Bury that a Conservative source says UKIP polling well in the town.

     
  80.  
    2334: Betsan Powys, Political Editor, BBC Wales

    Labour sources say that a majority in Cardiff is "tough but within our grasp", and also that Plaid Cymru placards in the Grangetown area of the city "are not turning into votes".

     
  81.  
    2336: The BBC's elections expert Professor John Curtice

    says we may need to keep a watch on UKIP this evening. So far in six wards in which they stood they have averaged 21% of the vote. Perhaps more importantly in the three of these wards that they also contested last year their vote is up by as much as 7 points on 12 months ago. Too early to make too much of this - but do not be surprised if we have more to say about this later in the night.

     
  82.  
    2337: Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith,

    on BBC One's Question Time, says Boris Johnson often "says exactly what he thinks ... which can be aggravating for people like me" but insists he has been "a breath of fresh air" for London.

     
  83.  
    2338: On BBC One's Question Time,

    an audience member asks the panel if the London mayoral campaign has been "an embarrassing, mudslinging affair".

     
  84.  
    2346: Ross Hawkins Political correspondent, BBC News

    reports here on how the Boris-v-Ken battle in London that has dominated the agenda has rather eclipsed the significance of thousands of council seats up for grabs across Britain.

     
  85.  
    2346: Red Moon

    tweets:@BBC_HaveYourSay Councils do what they like and so people have given up voting in the elections because they become meaningless.

     
  86.  
    2346: BBC Radio Cumbria's Emily Unia

    reports: Lots of fabulous red frocks in Carlisle tonight. Clear sign of confidence among Labour's female candidates.

     
  87.  
    2347: Rhian Price, reporter, BBC Wales,

    at the Flintshire count, says Labour figures are confident that the party will regain ground, but not to the position of strength pre-2008.

     
  88.  
    2347: River_Sider

    tweets: When you go to count you see the reality of #politics; #Tories #LibDems + #Labour laughing + schmoozing each other. #Vote2012 #allthesame

     
  89.  
    2347: Mark Hutchings, BBC Radio 5 Live

    Former Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan tells me he's optimistic but no way Labour can win a majority in Cardiff.

     
  90.  
    2348: Max in London

    emails: This was the first election I could vote in and I'm sad to hear there's been a low turnout but I'm not surprised either. When you've got a situation like here in London where the candidates from the three big parties are the exact same as last time round it's understandable that people feel they don't have much choice.

     
  91.  
    2351: George Coshall in Orpington

    emails: All one the same, so no difference who you vote for. Labour, Cons, Libs are all chasing the immigrant vote.

     
  92.  
    2351: Darren in Liverpool

    emails: Some excellent results for UKIP so far, a good number of second places they seem to be making good progress in local elections in recent years, despite a lack of coverage.

     
  93.  
    2352: Chris in Belfast

    emails: As a native englishman living in Belfast, why can't we have one mass election every four years. Having so many is an awful waste of taxpayers' money.

     
  94.  
    2354: The BBC's elections expert Professor John Curtice

    says we now have 10 key wards in from the south of England. These too show a swing to Labour since last year, albeit slightly below what has so far been recorded in the north of England. So it looks as though Labour will be able to claim progress across the country, but we wait to see whether that progress proves to be as substantial in the South as in the North.

     
  95.  
    2354: Alan Johnson, Labour MP for Hull West and Hessle,

    tells the BBC that he is "very disappointed by the turnout". Council leader Stephen Brady says that of the 12 Lib Dem seats up for grabs, he expects them to hang on to "two or three".

     
  96.  
    2355:

    Reports from the North East Lincolnshire count that Labour Party officials are saying they expect to take overall control. They are likely to retain their four seats that are up for election plus gain at least two extra, they say.

     
  97.  
    2358: Brian Meechan BBC Wales political reporter

    Labour doing well in Monmouthshire but Tories "quietly confident" they'll keep their council majority.

     
  98.  
    Local election count Counting is under way across England and Wales
     
  99.  
    2357: Breaking News

    First English council election result: Labour hold Sunderland. The Labour Party takes six seats from the Conservatives as well as the sole Lib Dem seat in Sunderland.

     
  100.  
    2358:

    Reports from Stevenage of a low turnout of just under 32%.

     
  101.  
    2359: Rhodri Lewis, BBC Wales

    Vale of Glam; lab and con both cagey about their prospects. Both eyeing the other, warily...

     
  102.  
    0000: Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland

    tweets: My Dad makes excellent point that, had GB gone ahead with election that never was in '07, the general election wd hv been around now

     
  103.  
    0000: Former Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan

    tells BBC 5Live's Mark Hutchings that he's "optimistic, but no way Labour can win a majority in Cardiff".

     
  104.  
    0002: BBC Oxford's Emma Vardy

    reports: The Leader of the Conservatives on Oxfordshire County Council Ian Hudspeth has lost his seat on West Oxfordshire District Council to the Lib Dems. A shock result, described as "very disappointing" by the party.

     
  105.  
    0005: Arif Ansari Political editor, North West

    From the Liverpool count: Lib Dem group leader in Halton, Linda Redhead, has lost her seat.

     
  106.  
    0005: Andrew Sinclair Political Correspondent, BBC East

    reports that UKIP have come within 40 votes of taking a seat from the Conservatives in Great Yarmouth.

     
  107.  
    0006: BBC Nottingham's Steve Beech

    reports that turnout in Nottingham's mayoral referendum was just 10.89% in one ward.

     
  108.  
    0008: Student Michael Dodd

    tweets: #ArmaCleggon has begun in Sunderland. #Vote2012

     
  109.  
    0010:

    What's at stake tonight for Messrs Cameron, Miliband and Clegg? We take a look here at what these elections mean for the main party leaders.

     
  110.  
    0010: BBC North East's Adele Robinson

    reports Labour have gained four seats in south Tyneside.

     
  111.  
    0011: The BBC's elections expert Professor John Curtice

    says there is now every reason to anticipate that in contrast to last year the Lib Dems will not suffer net losses to the Cons. In the south of England the Con vote is down on average by 7.5 points on 2008, while the Lib Dem vote is down by 7 points. In the north of England the equivalent figures are 10 points for both parties.

     
  112.  
    0010:

    Conservative co-chairman Baroness Warsi risks controversy on the BBC's election programme by attempting to link UKIP to the BNP, suggesting that the former's increase in council candidates has coincided with a drop in the number of BNP candidates.

     
  113.  
    0012: Arif Ansari Political editor, North West

    Labour's candidate for Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has walked into the count to applause from supporters. All the evidence suggests he has won easily.

     
  114.  
    0015:

    Conservatives hold Castle Point.

     
  115.  
    0015:

    Labour hold Halton with a gain of six seats.

     
  116.  
    0016: Tom in Birmingham

    texts: I think people would be more open to a directly elected mayor if we knew in advance if that person would have any powers whatsoever.

     
  117.  
    0017:

    Labour hold Knowsley, with a gain of four seats from the Lib Dems.

     
  118.  
    0019: Owain Evans, BBC Wales

    David Davies MP says he thinks the Conservatives may lose their majority in Monmouthshire.

     
  119.  
    0019:

    Labour's Sadiq Khan describes the London mayoral race - the outcome of which will be announced on Friday evening - as a "personality contest" and that Tory candidate Boris Johnson is a "big personality". He loyally adds that Ken Livingstone could still win it.

     
  120.  
    0019: Arif Ansari Political editor, North West

    Lib Dems have lost all four seats they were defending in Knowsley. It is now a purely Labour council.

     
  121.  
    0020: Arif Ansari Political editor, North West

    reports: I understand the Leader of Stockport council, Dave Goddard, is on course to lose his seat tonight.

     
  122.  
    0020: Gillian from London

    texts: I must be following the trend. Have voted mostly Labour tonight having voted Lib Dem and Conservative before.

     
  123.  
    0021: Andrew

    comments on the BBC News website: Unfortunately local politics these days is too much influenced by party biases. I would be quite happy to vote for (say) a Labour candidate if they were the best person for the job, even if it means going against a party that I support.

     
  124.  
    0022: Stephen in Manchester

    texts: When I went to vote at 8pm, I was told I was the only person on my street who had been so far. It's not surprising that none of my neighbours voted, as none of the candidates actually bothered to campaign in our area.

     
  125.  
    0022: Betsan Powys, Political Editor, BBC Wales

    Lib Dem source admits they're losing a lot of ground in Cardiff Central, which has been a stronghold for the party. They also admit to losing ground in Wrexham - in both cases, especially against Labour.

     
  126.  
    0023: Some Lingering Fog

    comments on the BBC News website: Personally, I have a golden rule for local elections in that if a candidate doesn't live in the town where they are standing, they will never get my vote regardless of which political party they represent as they are obviously not bothered about local issues.

     
  127.  
    0025: Breaking News

    Conservatives lose control of Hart, Hampshire. Now no overall control.

     
  128.  
    0026: Alex Forsyth, Correspondent, BBC South

    First result from Portsmouth: Labour gain Nelson ward from Conservatives. First Labour gain for some years. Conservative candidate was in third place.

     
  129.  
    0026:

    Expectation management is in full swing on the BBC election programme. Baroness Warsi has just said the Conservatives expect to lose "800-1,000" seats tonight - higher than their previous estimate. These are not her figures, she adds with a smile, but the Daily Mirror's.

     
  130.  
    0026:

    Reports from Bradford count - no results yet but it's believed Respect has gained at least three seats.

     
  131.  
    0027: Nia Cerys of BBC Wales

    reports from Wrexham that the council leader, Lib Dem Ron Davies, has just lost his seat to an independent candidate.

     
  132.  
    0028: BBC Nottingham's Steve Beech

    An even lower mayoral referendum turnout in Nottingham Arboretum ward of just 8.45%.

     
  133.  
    0031:

    Candidates watch the count in Swindon, where turnout was 32%.

    Swindon Borough Council votes counted
     
  134.  
    0031: BBC Wales

    reports that the Lib Dem leader of Wrexham council - Ron Davies - has just lost his seat to an independent.

     
  135.  
    0031: Daibhid Ceannaideach

    tweets: Tuned eagerly to live local election coverage, to learn that Scottish ballots aren't being counted til the morning. Going to bed now.

     
  136.  
    0031:

    Some crumbs of comfort for Nick Clegg? Analysis of early results by BBC elections expert Professor John Curtice suggests the Lib Dems are not suffering net losses to their Tory coalition partners in the South of England, like they did last year. The Lib Dem vote is falling most heavily in wards where they share first and second place with Labour.

     
  137.  
    0033:

    Reports from Bradford: it's thought council leader's seat on knife edge.

     
  138.  
    0033: Robb Hemming

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay are Labour "rebuilding" or are the coalition parties collapsing? #bbcvote2012

     
  139.  
    0036:

    A reminder that Scotland and London results are not due until later on Friday. See a run-down of expected results timings here.

     
  140.  
    0036: BBC Radio Cumbria's Emily Unia

    First results from Carlisle. Conservatives hold Brampton. Great Corby and Geltsdale are also Con holds. Hayton independent hold.

     
  141.  
    0036: Sean Adam in Edinburgh

    emails: Instead of moaning about low turnouts, our politicians should actually show some real leadership for a change and inspire the electorate. I fear though this will be beyond them. More of the same, stale debate from professional politicians who wouldn't know real life and the difficulties real people have if it hit them in the face!

     
  142.  
    0038:

    Conservatives hold Broxbourne.

     
  143.  
    0039: Breaking News

    Labour gain Harlow from Conservatives.

     
  144.  
    0040:

    Conservatives lose Worcester to no overall control.

     
  145.  
    0040:

    Labour is up a whopping 18% on 2008 - when the party suffered one of its worst ever election nights, according to BBC analysis of results in 150 key council wards. The Tories and Lib Dems are both down 9%. The results look less rosy for Ed Miliband's party when compared with 2011 results, with Labour up 3%, the Tories down 4% and the Lib Dems down 2%.

     
  146.  
    0040: BBC Wales

    A senior Welsh Labour source has told our reporter in Caerphilly that the party is heading for a "comfortable working majority" gaining the authority from a Plaid Cymru-led coalition.

     
  147.  
    0042:

    The Liberal Democrat and Conservative leaders in Halton have both lost their seats as Labour strengthened its control of the council.

     
  148.  
    0043:

    Weymouth and Portland remains no overall control though both the Conservatives and Lib Dems lose seats to Labour.

     
  149.  
    0043: Paul from Colchester

    emails: I feel really bad but I didn't vote today. I'm not disillusioned with any one party, but what's to choose between them? Vote for the guys that broke it first time around? Or vote for the headless/directionless coalition? Or throw your vote away on an independent? It's all so disheartening.

     
  150.  
    0043: BBC Wales

    In Cardiff, Lib Dems are muttering that they're "not sure" if council leader Rodney Berman will retain his Plasnewydd seat.

     
  151.  
    0044:

    Former Labour MP Jeff Ennis gains a seat on Barnsley council.

     
  152.  
    0044: BBC Nottingham's Steve Beech

    Mayoral referendum turnout 23.93% in Nottingham.

     
  153.  
    0045: The Guardian's James Ball

    tweets: It is somewhat significant if the Tories lose seats tonight in southern england - remember they gained 200 there last year. #vote2012

     
  154.  
    0045: Shamsia Kamal in London

    emails: My daughter who just turned 18 voted for the first time and was very excited - she felt she also belonged! Poor thing, it won't be too long before she realises all her excitement and hopes have no value. They only make promises to break. It's only a power game, and we are the puppets.

     
  155.  
    0047:

    Very, very early of course - 17 councils declared, with 164 to go - but the story so far is three Conservative losses and two Labour gains.

     
  156.  
    0047: Rhodri Lewis, reporter, BBC Wales

    reports that the Conservatives may lose control of the Vale of Glamorgan council. This could lead to potential coalition deals between Labour and Plaid Cymru.

     
  157.  
    0047: Rhodri Lewis of BBC Wales,

    at the Vale of Glamorgan count, says there are whisperings that the Conservatives have lost their majority and may be replaced by a Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition.

     
  158.  
    0048: Catrin Heledd, reporter, BBC Wales,

    reports from Merthyr that the local Labour Party is confident that they will regain control of the council.

     
  159.  
    0048: Richard in South Wales

    emails: I voted and I am proud that I have. I don't believe that by not voting you're protesting. There's a reason why we have the right to vote and that's because our ancestors fought for our voice to be heard through voting. This may not be the general election but it's just as important if not more to shape our local communities.

     
  160.  
    0048: Breaking News

    Labour gains Great Yarmouth from Conservatives.

     
  161.  
    0049: Lawrence Shaw

    tweets: It's not looking too bad for Labour at the moment, but I have a horrible feeling the London mayoral result will take the shine off #vote2012

     
  162.  
    0049:

    Labour gain Nuneaton and Bedworth from no overall control.

     
  163.  
    0050: Rich Jarvis

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay as a Con voter tonight will be disappointing but expected, but no one can read much given such a low turnout. #vote2012

     
  164.  
    0050:

    Early signs are that UKIP could be in for very good night, with an average of 14% in just over 50 wards declared so far, where they stood - 5 points higher than 2011. They may still struggle to convert that into council seats but it will strengthen their claim to be the UK's third party.

     
  165.  
    0050: Brian Meechan, political reporter, BBC Wales,

    reports that local Tory MP David TC Davies says Conservatives could lose control of Monmouth.

     
  166.  
    0052: BBC Radio Oxford's Emma Vardy

    reports: Liberal Democrat seats are falling fast here, they've lost four so far. Labour and the Greens picking up seats as a result.

     
  167.  
    0052: Guido Fawkes

    tweets: Think we should accept that Twitter on local election night is for anoraks, obsessives and paid pundits. Many of whom will be drunk.

     
  168.  
    0052:

    Labour hold Sandwell, gaining seats from the Conservatives.

     
  169.  
    0054: The BBC's elections expert Professor John Curtice

    There are signs in the results so far that both the Tories and the Lib Dems are losing ground most heavily in places where they are in competition with Labour. In wards where the Cons shared first and second place with Labour in 2008 their vote is down so far by 12 points compared with 10 points across our key wards as a whole. Meanwhile, in wards where the Lib Dems and Labour shared first and second place in 2008 the Lib Dem vote is down on average by 16 points compared with 10 points in all our key wards.

     
  170.  
    0054:

    Labour hold Lincoln.

     
  171.  
    0054: Tony Stark

    tweets: @BBC_Haveyoursay Sounds naive, but I didn't even know local elections were on today! Others I've spoken to agree. Low turnouts because of it

     
  172.  
    0055:

    Labour's recent opinion poll surge has been confirmed by early results, says John Curtice. Ed Miliband's party is up 2 or 3 points on the 2011 local elections, potentially putting them at the "higher end" of their expectations, he adds.

     
  173.  
    0057: BBC Wales

    A senior Labour source says they could be heading for a gain with a majority of "at least 10" in Bridgend.

     
  174.  
    0057:

    Labour gains Exeter from no overall control.

     
  175.  
    0059:

    The Conservative Party loses overall control of Worcester City Council. Labour gains three seats, but fails to claim a majority.

     
  176.  
    0100: Nick Robinson Political editor

    predicts that tonight's results - with the Tories and Lib Dems fighting each other in the South - will increase tension in the coalition as a general election approaches.

     
  177.  
    0100:

    Reports that Southampton is swinging strongly towards Labour and the Conservatives expect to lose control of the council. The Lib Dems are behind UKIP or Green in some wards.

     
  178.  
    Cemlyn Davies, BBC Wales reporter

    in Ceredigion says Plaid Cymru have won the seats of two Lib Dem cabinet members. Plaid need a net gain of two seats to take control of the council.

     
  179.  
    0101:

    Six council losses for the Conservatives so far, with five gains for Labour.

     
  180.  
    0102: Laura in Leeds

    emails: I was working at a polling station today and the turn out was dismal. Apathy towards local elections and no information or coverage on voting to elect a mayor or not. One word: shambles.

     
  181.  
    0103:

    The Conservatives lose Southend-on-Sea to no overall control.

     
  182.  
    0105: Muhammad Zeshan in London

    emails: I registered myself, my wife and a friend who is sharing our house with us to vote by post. Yet only my wife received ballot papers and voted. I tried to contact the election office number and they said they would send me a replacement which we still waited for until the day passed.

     
  183.  
    0106: Rory Harvey in Reigate

    emails: I'm fed up of people saying voting Independent is a wasted vote! Independent candidates are vital for effective local politics and they will do well tonight. No vote is wasted!

     
  184.  
    0108:

    The Tories on Sandwell Council are accused of carrying out an "appalling prank" by fielding a candidate with the same name as his Labour opponent, Derek Rowley. The Tories reject it as "another load of Labour spin". Labour has held the West Midlands council.

     
  185.  
    0108: The Evening Standard's Pippa Crerar

    tweets: Labour v. pessimistic about Ken's chances. Not just Boris win, but a win by some margin. End of an era for Labour politics in London.

     
  186.  
    0111: The BBC's elections expert Professor John Curtice

    says South West Devon MP Gary Streeter's concession that the Tories have lost Plymouth is significant. This is a council where the swing required was around the expectations of current opinion polls.

     
  187.  
    0111:

    Tory MP Gary Streeter is pretty clear what the UKIP surge means - Tory voters are sick of the "small L liberals" at the top of the coalition. "They don't think our leadership is Conservative enough," says the North West Devon MP.

     
  188.  
    0111: Les Bowring

    comments on the BBC News website: I like this idea of an extra box to vote for none of the above as a sign of no confidence in any of the main (all the same) parties who are just in it for themselves.

     
  189.  
    0113:

    Nick Robinson thinks Mr Streeter's comments are significant. UKIP could put real pressure on the Conservatives if they continue to pick up this kind of support at non-European elections.

     
  190.  
    0121: Welsh Labour local elections campaign chair Peter Hain

    Says: "Even at this early stage, it is clear that people across Wales have responded to Welsh Labour's grassroots campaigns with major gains in areas like Wrexham and Caerphilly; where Plaid and the Lib Dems are in retreat. We are taking seats across huge swathes of Wales; with every party losing seats to Welsh Labour. Positive campaigns ran by, and rooted in, local communities are winning back support for Welsh Labour."

     
  191.  
    0121: BBC Wales

    Keith Evans, independent leader of Ceredigion council, loses his seat to Plaid Cymru who are on course to take control of the council which was run by a Lib Dem/Independent/Labour administration.

     
  192.  
    0122: Skywatchman

    comments on the BBC News website: Having been involved with local politics, although a long time ago, I can confirm that politicians are only interested in power and the general public come a very poor second. I was so disgusted at the actions of the councillors that I never stood again.

     
  193.  
    0122: Henry James Ball

    commented on Google+: Would have liked the Liverpool mayor to be the whole Liverpool urban area rather than just an incredibly small portion of the "city".\ufeff

     
  194.  
    0126:

    7 Up for Labour so far, and seven councils lost by the Conservatives. Click here for detailed election results and map.

     
  195.  
    0127: New Statesman legal correspondent David Allen Green

    tweets: Just when - over civil liberties and human rights - a strong Lib Dem party was most needed, we have ended up at our weakest. Politics, eh?

     
  196.  
    0128:

    So far turnout is down on average by 3 points since 2008 and by 8 points since last year. These changes suggest an eventual turnout of around 32%. If so, this would be the lowest turnout in English local elections since 2000.

     
  197.  
    0131:

    Tim Montgomerie warns of the dangers for the Tory party if people "get into the habit of voting UKIP". The ConservativeHome editor, a frequent critic of David Cameron, says the PM is not doing enough to appeal to "blue collar", eurosceptic voters.

     
  198.  
    0131: Isabel Hardman from PoliticsHome

    tweets: new meaning to "bruising at the polls" as Lib Dem leader in St Helen's is thrown out of the count for trying to punch someone!

     
  199.  
    0132: Breaking News

    Nottingham votes no to having an elected mayor.

     
  200.  
    0133: Carl Roberts, BBC Wales political reporter

    says it's looking bad for Plaid Cymru in Caerphilly where they were running the council with support of independents. The party believes council leader Allan Pritchard has lost his seat, along with former Welsh Secretary Ron Davies, an independent member of the cabinet who was standing as a Plaid candidate this time round. The local Labour MP Wayne David believes his party will have a working majority in Caerphilly.

     
  201.  
    0133: Alex Wakelam in York

    emails: Frankly I'm fed up of the fact that it's become cool to claim that all the parties are the same and that all politicians are self-serving. It may have some aspects of truth but for me it feels like giving up on caring. Move on people and examine the differences that do exist.

     
  202.  
    0135: BBC Wales

    Jeff Edwards, the independent leader of Merthyr Tydfil, has lost his seat to Labour.

     
  203.  
    0136: P.J Quinn in Falkirk

    emails: In Scotland we have different voting systems for every election. I am afraid to spoil my ballot in case it is just registered as someone who was too thick to vote properly so I would like to see a "none of the above" option but would perhaps be worried that this would often form a majority.

     
  204.  
    0136: Matt Leventhall in Coulsdon

    emails: I deliberately spoiled my ballot for the London Mayoral Election because I did not believe that there were any credible candidates. I also believed that the election had been fought on personalities, rather than policies.

     
  205.  
    0136: Matt Hancock in Blackpool

    emails: Why do Conservative and Labour MPs disregard UKIP as a 'protest vote'? The Tories in particular should be taking them more seriously.

     
  206.  
    0137: The BBC's elections expert Professor John Curtice

    says UKIP's best performances seem to be hurting the Tories most of all. Where UKIP's vote is up by more than 10 points the Tories are doing about 5 points worse than elsewhere, Labour 2 points, and the Lib Dems 2 points.

     
  207.  
    0138: BBC South East

    reports that Labour look like being on the verge of a landslide in Reading. They have just taken Katesgrove ward.

     
  208.  
    0139: Jordan Davies, BBC Wales reporter,

    in Newport, says Labour has taken two seats from the Conservatives and two from the Lib Dems. Labour was the largest party and hoping to retake control from a Tory/Lib Dem administration.

     
  209.  
    0139: Benjamin Nunn

    tweets: Nottingham votes 'No' to an elected mayor. Perhaps they'd prefer an elected Sheriff? #bbcelection2012 #vote2012

     
  210.  
    0140: BBC Essex political reporter Ben Bland

    tweets: UKIP win a seat on #Thurrock Council as Labour take overall control (was previously no overall control) #vote2012 #bbcvote2012

     
  211.  
    0140:

    Reports from Bury count that Lib Dem husband and wife councillors, Dick & Mary D'Albert, have both lost their seats.

     
  212.  
    0140: Wrexham council result

    Labour 23 seats, Independents 18, Conservatives 5, Lib Dems 4, Plaid Cymru 1 and Non Aligned 1

     
  213.  
    0142:

    The index of all our Vote 2012 coverage is here.

     
  214.  
    0143: BBC Radio Oxford's Emma Vardy

    reports that Oxford remains a Labour-controlled council. The story here was of Liberal Democrat losses - Labour and the Greens gaining as a result. Conservative MP Nicola Blackwood tells me: "We knew this would be a difficult night, now we have to get back to Westminster and do something about it."

     
  215.  
    0147: Breaking News

    Labour have gained Wirral, taking seven seats from the Conservatives and Lib Dems.

     
  216.  
    0147: The BBC's elections expert Professor John Curtice

    says the victory in Wirral is Labour's most significant gain of the night so far. At 9%, the swing required was almost bang in line with the swing in the opinion polls since 2008. It is further confirmation that Labour's performance seems to be at least as good as the opinon polls were anticipating.

     
  217.  
    0149:

    So far the Tories are losing about one in three of the seats they are defending, while the Lib Dems are losing about a half. Nearly all these losses are to Labour. If this pattern continues then Labour look set to make more than 700 gains in England alone, leaving aside whatever gains they may make in Wales.

     
  218.  
    0211: BBC Wales

    Labour strengthen their position as the largest party in Wrexham with 23 seats, up 11, while the Lib Dems lost 7 of their 11 seats, including Ron Davies, who led an all-party coalition.

     
  219.  
    0212: BBC South East

    Another win for Labour in Caversham in Reading. Great night for Labour, bad for Lib Dems.

     
  220.  
    0212: Ross Hawkins Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Labour think they're on course for over 500 gains #bbcelection2012

     
  221.  
    0213: BBC Radio Derby's Chris Doidge

    reports the BNP have lost their two seats in Amber Valley to Labour.

     
  222.  
    0213: BBC South East

    Reports from Reading that Labour have won the seat they need to take full control of the council.

     
  223.  
    0213: Dave from Plymouth

    emails: I hope Labour don't get too smug about tonight's results. The swing to them is because people are totally disillusioned with the Coalition government and not because they're any more popular. I speak as a former lifelong Labour supporter. I didn't vote tonight because I no longer have anyone to vote for - none of the major parties seem any more interested in me than I am in them and the local alternatives hardly inspire.

     
  224.  
    0213: Jason Fletcher in London

    texts: If people are disillusioned with the options available, they should take the initiative and stand as independents, rather than boycotting politics as a whole!

     
  225.  
    0213:

    Outgoing Derby City Council leader, Conservative Philip Hickson, tells BBC Radio Derby that "David Cameron needs to get a grip". Labour have won control from a Conservative/Lib Dem coalition.

     
  226.  
    0214: BBC Wales reporter Jordan Davies

    in Newport says three cabinet members have lost their seats to Labour - two Conservative and one Lib Dem. Despite being in opposition, Labour were the largest party and have made four gains so far as they hope to retake control.

     
  227.  
    0214: BBC Wales reporter Alun Thomas

    says Labour take control of Blaenau Gwent from Independents.

     
  228.  
    0215: Andrew Sinclair Political Correspondent, BBC East

    reports that Labour have taken control of Norwich and the Conservatives have lost all their seats.

     
  229.  
    0215: BBC South

    Gerald Howarth, MP for Aldershot and defence minister, says tonight's results will have to be considered by David Cameron along with deep unhappiness among many Tories over the government's economic policies. He cites gay marriage as his biggest ever post bag with many party faithful unhappy with Cameron's support. There are also concerns about issues such as House of Lords reform.

     
  230.  
    0216:

    The Conservatives lose control of Southampton council to the Labour Party.

     
  231.  
    0219:

    Lib Dems lose Cambridge to no overall control.

     
  232.  
    0222:

    Reports from Manchester mayoral referendum count that the turnout was just over 25%.

     
  233.  
    0224:

    The picture so far is 15 councils gained by Labour, nine lost by the Conservatives and one lost by the Lib Dems.

     
  234.  
    0229:

    More on the referendum on an elected mayor in Nottingham here, where 57% of voters - albeit on a turnout of less than 24% - have rejected the idea.

     
  235.  
    0235:

    A result to buck the trend tonight - Labour have lost Hartlepool to no overall control.

     
  236.  
    0235:

    There will be a wait until late on Friday for the result of the London mayoral election, but an Evening Standard poll has given the current Conservative mayor Boris Johnson a six-point lead over his Labour rival Ken Livingstone.

     
  237.  
    0236: BBC Birmingham's James O'Hara

    reports that the indications from all party members in Birmingham is that the result in the mayoral referendum will be 'No'. Counting starts at 14:00 BST.

     
  238.  
    0236: BBC Wales reporter Catrin Heledd

    says Labour have taken control of Merthyr Tydfil from the Independents.

     
  239.  
    0238:

    CORRECTION: Result from Hartlepool - Labour have held the council.

     
  240.  
    0238: Vaughan Roderick, BBC's Welsh Affairs editor

    tweets: Impressive showing by Labour so far in Wales. Seems those who described the party's poor result in 2008 as 'historic' spoke a tad too soon

     
  241.  
    0240:

    Labour have gained four seats to take control of Reading - two each from the Conservatives and Lib Dems. The Greens gain one seat.

     
  242.  
    0241: Breaking News

    A first gain of the night for the Conservatives, securing Winchester from no overall control.

     
  243.  
    0245:

    Our report on the elections in Wales can be found here, with Welsh Labour's claim that it is taking a "leap forward" apparently justified by early results.

     
  244.  
    0248: Breaking News

    Labour gain Norwich from no overall control. The Greens are in second place and the Lib Dems a distant third. The Conservatives have lost their only two seats on the council.

     
  245.  
    0253:

    A row has erupted after Conservative co-chairman Baroness Warsi appeared to link UKIP successes in the elections to a reduction in the number of BNP candidates. Read more on the story here.

     
  246.  
    0253:

    The Conservatives lose Wyre Forest to no overall control.

     
  247.  
    0253: Radio 5Live

    reports early indications that Coventry will vote "No" in its mayoral referendum.

     
  248.  
    0254:

    The British National Party are contesting six of their eight council seats. They're fielding a total of 131 candidates, mostly in northern and Midlands towns. Birmingham, with 18, is the BNP's biggest focus.

     
  249.  
    0255: The BBC's elections expert Professor John Curtice

    says the success of the Tories in winning Winchester is one little chink of good news for them tonight. It is a council that required a 4.5% swing from Con to Lib Dem for the Cons to gain control - and that is not a swing that has been much in evidence in most of England tonight.

     
  250.  
    0255:

    The Conservatives have held Swindon. It was the biggest election there for 12 years as the whole council was up for re-election due to boundary changes.

     
  251.  
    0301: Robbie Andrew MacLeod

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay Fact is people shouldn't spoil ballots on purpose; countless sacrifices were made to give all the vote, grow up. #vote2012

     
  252.  
    0301: BBC Wales reporter Huw Thomas

    says Labour have strengthened their hold on Neath Port Talbot council. They gained 13 seats to finish with 52 seats, with Plaid Cymru 4 and Independents 8. The Lib Dems lost their three seats, while the Conservatives had no seats to defend.

     
  253.  
    0302:

    So far UKIP are averaging 13% of the vote in wards they fought - an increase on average of as much as 5 points since last year. This certainly looks as though it will be UKIP's best local election performance other than when polls take place on the same day as European elections.

    The Greens are averaging 9% - up 1 point on 2011. The BNP are averaging 6 points, unchanged from last year but down 6 points on 2008.

     
  254.  
    0302:

    Reports from the Rochdale count say that the overall turnout was just under 32%. The count was delayed earlier by a power failure.

     
  255.  
    0305: BBC Wales

    Final results from Merthyr Tydfil confirm Labour retaking control from the Independents. Labour up 10 to 23 seats, Independent 7, Merthyr Independent 2, UKIP 1.

     
  256.  
    0306: Greenwich Tory councillor Nigel Fletcher

    tweets: Credit to LD former Leader on Manchester - doing interview despite losing his seat. Many would have retreated home with a bottle of Scotch.

     
  257.  
    0309: Dominic Campbell

    tweets: UK rapidly becoming a 2 party #localgov state on tonight's results with the Lib Dem meltdown. A sign of future national elections as well?

     
  258.  
    0313: Jordan Davies of BBC Wales

    reports that Newport may about to elect one of its most unlikely Labour councillors - Rhys from Newport rap crew Goldie Lookin Chain.

     
  259.  
    0313: David Ottewell from the Manchester Evening News

    tweets: Dave Goddard gone, Norman Owen gone. These are Lib Dem political heavyweights in Greater Manchester. The party will be fuming re coalition

     
  260.  
    0316: Breaking News

    Projected national share of the vote - Labour are on 39% (up 3% on last year), the Conservatives 31% (down 4%), Lib Dems 16% (no change), others 14%.

     
  261.  
    0319:

    With the Liberal Democrats on course to lose about half the seats they are defending, Lib Dem peer Lord Rennard says: "The problems are of course those which, perhaps, some people like me have waited decades for to be able to say. It's the usual government mid-term unpopularity that's accounted for some of our losses. And therefore, obviously, we're losing to Labour tonight but we're still doing quite well against the Conservatives and we're still doing quite well ... where we have a Lib Dem MP or where we run the council."

     
  262.  
    0319: Arif Ansari Political editor, North West

    reports from the Liverpool count that a few boxes of uncounted ballot papers have been found, delaying the result. Result expected around 03.30 BST.

     
  263.  
    0319:

    Labour have gained Dudley from the Conservatives. Labour gained 13 seats and the Tories lost 13. The Greens have gained a single seat on the council and UKIP lost their only seat.

     
  264.  
    0320: BBC Wales political reporter Carl Roberts

    confirms that the Plaid Cymru leader of Caerphilly council Allan Pritchard has lost his seat. Labour have taken 31 of the 38 seats declared so far and look on course to clinch the 40 seats needed to take control.

     
  265.  
    0321: Sheila Crawford in Dundee

    emails:It's not only the electorate here that are apathetic, the candidates have been conspicuous by their absence too. All except for the incumbent who continued delivering the monthly newsletter and put campaign material through the door. His was also the only party represented outside the polling station.....

     
  266.  
    0321: Stefano Imbriano in Leeds

    emails: The claim that the Conservative Party need to move to the right seems to ignore the results that are currently coming through. Insidious partial privatisation of the NHS in their reforms, deep cuts to public services and elitism in their cabinet ranks are all factors of their tenure that have likely lost them votes tonight.

     
  267.  
    0321: Andy in Sutton Coldfield

    emails: I was rather confused by the referendum on whether to have an elected mayor. The options were to have a mayor elected by the council or one elected by the people. I thought the referendum concerned having a mayor similar to Boris in London. I though the Mayor of Birmingham was a ceremonial office. I'm not the only one to be surprised by the ballot paper. I'm not really sure what I was voting for.

     
  268.  
    0328:

    Labour have held Manchester council, including gaining 12 seats from the Lib Dems.

     
  269.  
    0329: Breaking News

    Manchester has voted "No" to an elected mayor. Vote share was 53.2% "No" and 46.8% "Yes".

     
  270.  
    0329: Ian Morris in London

    texts: Could the very low turnout and the poor performance of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats be a reflection of people's major concern with the economy? In that they see local councils being impotent in dealing with what is a major national issue, therefore many people see no reason to vote.

     
  271.  
    0333: Roy Clarks

    texts: Everyone talks national politics and these are local elections about local politics. That is where it is going wrong. It is about what affects people and the places they live. Planning, social services, bin collections, etc. The political parties need to engauge people locally.

     
  272.  
    0335:

    With almost exactly half the councils declared, Labour have so far made net gains of 400 seats. They still look well on course to reach the target that was set for them of making 700 gains overall - and they have already passed the very modest target they set themselves of making 300 gains.

     
  273.  
    0342:

    The prime minister will come under renewed pressure from some of his own MPs in the wake of these election results, and must face up to deep unhappiness within the party at some of the government's policies, suggests BBC political correspondent Ben Geoghegan in his analysis of the local election results.

     
  274.  
    0342:

    Coventry votes overwhelming against having an elected mayor. The vote share was 64% "No" and 36% "Yes".

     
  275.  
    0343:

    With all the attention on UKIP's surge, the Greens are feeling a little neglected. Spokesman Jonathan Bartley tells the BBC the party, which has gained three councillors so far, has "four times" as many councillors as the Eurosceptic party.

     
  276.  
    0343: BBC Wales

    Labour make big gains in Flintshire but fall short of an overall majority. Final result: Labour 31, Independent 19, Lib Dem 7, Con 8, New Independent 4, Plaid Cymru 1. Previously run by a Con/Ind/Lib Dem administration.

     
  277.  
    0344: suboran

    comments on the BBC News website: People seem to forget the 'local' in this election and look at national politics.

     
  278.  
    0344: Christopher Connor

    emails: Living in Salford, it's a great disappointment to see all the non-Labour or Conservative Councillors lose. Just witnessed the last independent seat lose via the council Twitter, and it makes me worry it'll put people off voting, or standing too, in elections under the premise of "Salford will never not be Labour".

     
  279.  
    0344: Helen of Troy

    comments on the BBC News website: I had to search my ballot paper for someone to vote for. Not Tory, not Labour, not Lib Dem and not SNP. Fortunately there was a woman standing on a single issue, to save the local hospital, so she got my vote. Otherwise I would have had to leave the paper blank. Sad.

     
  280.  
    0344: Kevlar

    comments on the BBC News website: I'm 34 and chose not to vote today. I've decided not to vote ever again. There will be some of you who will say, that I've lost my voice. But I've realised an uncomfortable truth- I never really had one to begin with.

     
  281.  
    0345:

    Reports from Bradford that Respect have taken Manningham ward from Labour with 3,200 votes.

     
  282.  
    0345: skaterava

    comments on the BBC News website: When will people wake up and realise radical reform is needed in politics? Every election it's the same thing. The party in power loses support, the opposition gains. Repeat, four years later.

     
  283.  
    0348:

    Our "At a glance" page is a clear and concise rundown of the key details so far from Vote 2012.

     
  284.  
    0349: Vie Ventar

    writes on Facebook: In my ward the Tory candidate put about an election leaflet (With the good old Kitchener image) which never stated that he was a member of the Tory party - indeed it went out of its way to reinforce that he was the "Local" candidate. At the bottom, in the smallest possible print, the fact he was supported by Conservative organisations. Somebody wasn't confident in his party.

     
  285.  
    0351: The BBC's elections expert Professor John Curtice

    says that while Respect have won their first seat in Bradford, they have been a considerable way behind in three other wards whose result has already been declared. Evidently George Galloway's by-election success has had some impact but perhaps not at the runaway level that Mr Galloway himself managed to achieve.

     
  286.  
    0351: David Elton

    writes on Facebook: Seems my hometown of Reading has gone back to Labour. The voters that bothered to turn up seem to have short memories. It took Labour 15 years to totally screw our economy over. How do you expect anyone to fix it in just 2 years?

     
  287.  
    0352: BBC Wales

    Labour regain control of Newport from a Con/Lib Dem administration.

     
  288.  
    0356:

    Just past the half-way mark for council results, with 92 declared and 89 to go - and Labour's gains stand at 20 councils, the Tories having lost 10 and gained one, and one loss for the Lib Dems.

     
  289.  
    0403:

    This is just a bit of fun (as we say on election night) but if the projected share of the vote in the local elections was replicated in a general election, Labour would have an overall majority of 86 seats. Labour would have 368 seats in the House of Commons, the Conservatives 218, the Lib Dems 39 and others 25.

     
  290.  
    0403:

    Reports from Bradford that Respect have taken Heaton ward from the Conservatives, taking their number of seats to three.

     
  291.  
    0407:

    "Good but not spectacularly good" - that's Tory immigration minister Damian Green's verdict on Labour's night. The Conservative line seems to be that this was a predictable mid-term result. But some senior Tories are blaming coalition policy, as reported in our story on a bad night for the party.

     
  292.  
    0407:

    "We're on our way," is Labour MP Emily Thornberry's verdict on Labour's performance. The party clearly does not want to overplay its hand, with Scottish and London mayoral results still to come.

     
  293.  
    0407: Vale of Glamorgan Tory MP Alun Cairns

    tweets: Need to remember that David Cameron was most popular when he vetoed EU treaty. Lib Dems holding us back

     
  294.  
    0409: Breaking News Arif Ansari Political editor, North West

    reports that Labour's Joe Anderson is elected Liverpool's first mayor with 58,458 votes.

     
  295.  
    0410:

    Conservative MP Philip Davies, whose father is Doncaster mayor Peter Davies, from the English Democrats, tells the BBC he has no "inside information" on whether Doncaster will vote to get rid of its elected mayor in its referendum.

     
  296.  
    0416:

    Three of the cities that held referendums on the introduction of elected mayors have so far rejected the idea: in Nottingham, 57% of voters decided against it; there was another "No" vote in Manchester; and more than 63% of voters in Coventry opposed the proposal.

     
  297.  
    0416: Labour's Welsh local elections chair Peter Hain

    claims that Cardiff council's Lib Dem leader Rodney Berman has lost his seat. Labour making strong gains and hoping to take control of the council after eight years of Lib Dem leadership.

     
  298.  
    0417: Student Will Tovey

    tweets: The public *have* sent a clear message to the government; the vast majority of us don't care about politics. #BBCVote2012

     
  299.  
    0419: Len Tingle, Political Editor, BBC Look North

    tweets: Hearing that Bradford Labour leader Ian Greenwood has just squeaked in by 18 votes over Respect could be another recount

     
  300.  
    0419: Craig Reading in Balham

    emails: Low voter turnout is the elephant in the room that is still not being addressed. There needs to be improvement to access to elections by those who would otherwise vote if not for the current inconvenient system.

     

Vote 2012

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