The main trend from the local elections has been further Conservative gains from the Liberal Democrats. The Lib Dems were already at a low base in local government.
The Conservatives have gained Brentwood, Basingstoke, Eden, St Albans, Herefordshire, Mole Valley and Worcester from no overall control. Often this has involved picking up Lib Dem seats.
Portsmouth remains under No Overall Control – but the Conservatives gained five seats from the Lib Dems.
Conservatives have gained Basingstoke from no overall control. The Lib Dems have lost control of Watford where the Conservatives have gained five seats. South Somerset has been lost by the Lib Dems to no overall control – after the Conservatives gained three seats.
Then in places where the Conservatives were already in power the Lib Dems fell further back. For instance in Chelmsford they lost ten seats.
There have also been a few gains for the Conservatives from Labour. Amber Valley has switched from Labour to the Conservatives.
Walsall is now under No Overall Control after the Conservatives gained four seats.
Labour have also lost control of Stoke – with gains for the Conservatives and UKIP. Also Telford and The Wrekin.
Effectively Labour have lost in Copeland – they still run the Council but the borough now has an directly elected Mayor. The winner was Mike Starkie, an independent businessman. Elsewhere independents have done less well – as usually happens when a General Election is held on the same day there was generally a fall in their tally. The Conservatives gained Richmondshire from the independents.
On the other hand Labour have made a few compensating gains – for instance they have gained overall control in Stockton. I’m afraid they held up pretty well in Rotherham.
But the further decline of the Lib Dems is the main trend. They only have a handful of councils left. With the “pavement politics” the Lib Dems made great advances in local government in the past. Their duplicity in offering contradictory messages in one street to another is harder for them to get away with in the internet age. However whoever their new leader is I suspect that recovering their local government base will be a priority as a route to reaching double figures again in the House of Commons.
Lots of results are still to come in. The BBC are providing updates here.