With some results still to come in the Conservatives have net gains of 431 councillors. UKIP net gains of 115. Labour have net losses of 165 and the Lib Dems net losses of 309.
Remember that before these local elections the Conservatives were already ahead with 8,427 councillors in Britain – with 7.098 for Labour and 2,282 for the Lib Dems. When the final tally comes in we should be around the 9,000 mark – with Labour below 7,000 and the Lib Dems below 2,000.
Further Conservative gains to the ones I reported yesterday include East Lindsey, East Staffordshire, Gloucester, Hart, High Peak, Newark and Sherwood, Poole, Scarborough, South Gloucestershire, Staffordshire Moorlands, Taunton Deane, Waveney, West Devon and Wyre Forest from no overall control. In some of these places the Conservatives were already running the Council as a minority administration or in some kind of coalition. But it is still an impressive list.
Gravesham was gained by the Conservatives from Labour. Hinckley and Bosworth was gained by the Conservatives from the Lib Dems.
The only council where we have lost control in Tendring. This is the council which covers Clacton. It has ended up with 23 Conservatives (down eight) and 22 for UKIP (up by 19). Labour won four seats (down by five). The Lib Dems one (down one) and there are various independents. What will the Carswellites do? Generally UKIP have done everything possible in local government to sit in opposition rather than take the responsibility of office. Perhaps this will be different.
Also what will UKIP do in Plymouth where Labour have lost control. The Council there now has 28 Labour councillors, 26 Conservatives and three for UKIP.
Gordon Oliver, for the Conservatives, has been re-elected the Mayor of Torbay. But in Middlesbrough Labour’s candidate Dave Budd narrowly defeated an independent to become the directly elected Mayor. In Mansfield an independent, Kate Allsop, was elected in another close race.
There was a rare item of good news for the Lib Dems in Bedford. Dave Hodgson, their candidate for directly elected Mayor, held on.
I don’t know whether these changes will mean Labour losing control of the Local Government Association. Not that it makes much odds as this is a socialist lobby group demanding increased public spending regardless of which Party group is nominally in charge. I hope that now we have a Conservative Government it will cease being paid £25.5 million a year of taxpayers money.
UKIP have taken control of Thanet District Council. That is their first council – it was previously hung. UKIP have 33 seats, the Conservatives 18, Labour four and the independents one. Given the previous composition UKIP must have taken most of their seats from Labour. It will be fascinating to see how UKIP get on.