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For many people (or most people in Scotland with its electoral system of Proportional Representation) it is necessary to wait days or weeks after the local elections to discover which party, or parties, is running their council.

51 councils, out of the 181 that had elections recently, are hung, or under "No Overall Control." The number of hung councils overall is down by 18. This reflects the decline of the Lib Dems, who lost 330 seats.  "Others" were down by 143 seats – often these are councillors elected under a Party label who then resign to become independents or have the whip withdrawn.

But 51 is still a significant number. Among the Scottish councils, the Conservatives have generally been doing well in negotiations, as already noted.

Among the Welsh councils in Monmouthshire, where the Conservatives won more seats than anyone else there will be a Conservative/Lib Dem coalition. But in the Vale of Glamorgan, Labour will be running the show with support from independents.

In England, a Conservative/Lib Dem informal coalition has been agreed in Worcester.  For Gloucester, the Conservatives are likely to remain in power relying on the Mayor's casting vote.

Southend on Sea saw the Conservatives end up with 25 seats against a combined tally of 26 for Labour, Lib Dems and Independents. But one of the independents has indicated he may support the Conservatives.

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