UK Politics

No Conservative pact with UKIP, says David Cameron

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Media captionDavid Cameron: "We've got to work harder and really deliver on issues that are frustrating people"

David Cameron has said there will be no pact with UKIP after the Eurosceptics' gains in the council elections.

The prime minister said the Conservatives would be fighting for an "all-out win" at next year's general election.

With 157 councils declared, the party had lost 201 seats overall, and had lost control of 12 councils.

The BBC's projected national share of the vote put the Tories on 29% in a Britain-wide poll, with Labour on 31%.

Mr Cameron said the Tories' vote share had gone up since last year, pointing to councils held in Swindon and Tamworth.

And in a straight fight with the Lib Dems they gained control of Kingston-upon-Thames.

Economic recovery

UKIP's success has led some Tory MPs to call for a partnership between the parties.

But Mr Cameron said: "We are the Conservative Party. We don't do pacts and deals. We are fighting all out for an all-out win at the next election."

He added: "I'm confident that in spite of the difficulties, this is a base from which we can go forward and win."

The story of the 2014 local elections for the Conservatives included:

Prof John Curtice, of the University of Strathclyde, said the Conservatives' losses looked in line with what was anticipated, but said there was "no sign in these results of the party finally beginning to profit from economic recovery".

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Media captionConservative Education Secretary Michael Gove said UKIP had "done well"

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said the Conservatives needed to "redouble efforts" to respond to the main issues of concern among voters.

He told the BBC: "This is not a good result for any of the three mainstream parties because of the performance of UKIP. We all have to draw lessons from that."

UKIP's success in the early results led some backbenchers, including Eurosceptics such as Douglas Carswell, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Peter Bone, to call for an electoral pact with Nigel Farage's party at the 2015 general election.

'Private transaction'

Mr Rees-Mogg told the BBC he feared the two parties could split the centre-right vote: "In a first-past-the-post system, if they don't get those votes into one pot, then both those sides end up losing."

However, Tory chairman Grant Shapps said there was "no question" of it happening.

This was reiterated by Education Secretary Michael Gove, who told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The reason why is that, if you try to have an arrangement whereby you say to any political leader, 'I'll parcel up my votes and you parcel up your votes, and let's trade them in some private transaction', politics doesn't work like that. And it shouldn't.

"What we need to do is to recognise that Nigel Farage and others have articulated the concerns and the anger of a section of the electorate. Those concerns, that anger is legitimate.

"We, as government, have policies that I believe answer those concerns. We must not for a second dismiss the degree of concern that people have, which has prompted them to vote for UKIP. What we must do is ensure that our policies deliver."

Conservative supporters will now be bracing themselves for the results of the European elections, which will be revealed on Sunday. The Tories currently have twice as many MEPs as any other British party, with 26.