7pm ToryDiary: If Harry Phibbs's assessment is shared by Tory MPs, Cameron is safer than he was yesterday morning

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6pm Local Government: Our local elections live blog concludes. Labour narrowly wins Nottinghamshire. Cornwall remains under No Overall Control.  And the Conservatives hold Staffordshire. 

5.45pm Lord Ashcroft on Comment: UKIP isn't a party of government. This helped them yesterday. It ought not to in 2015. "To the extent that local elections give an indication
of direction and momentum, they must be at least as troubling for Ed Miliband
as they are for David Cameron."

4pm Andrew Lilico on Comment: "Mid-term blues"

Screen shot 2013-05-03 at 14.37.302.30pm Local Government: Our local elections live blog continues.  Labour has failed to gain Lancashire. The Conservatives have lost overall control of East Sussex.  Staffordshire is a crucial test.

1pm WATCH: ‪Nigel Farage: We will build our support in the areas where we won votes yesterday‬

Noon George Freeman MP on Comment says "the UKIP surge is much more
than just a mid-term protest vote",
and that its appeal is "fundamentally about values, rather than
: UKIP come knocking: what's going on, and how to respond?

11am WATCH: Yes, it's UKIP reaction time!

10.30am ToryDiary: How should the Conservatives deal with UKIP? Take ConHome's latest monthly survey to give your answer

9.45am: Local Government: Harry Phibbs has started our Local elections live blog

It's local elections results day – and UKIP is on the march:

Farage Nigel Purple Long

Also on ToryDiary, Andrew Gimson lambasts the Tory back seat drivers: For the Prime Minister's critics to condemn the Coalition shows a lack of mental balance

Iain Dale's Friday Diary: John Hayes should keep quiet, and Justine Greening should be reshuffled

Andrea Leadsom on Comment: Further and faster please, Greg Clark, on bank account number portability

Deep End: Heresy of the week: The Eurozone does not have a single currency

Local elections: Conservatives lose control of Gloucestershire and Lincolnshire as a rampant UKIP gain seats.  And it looks like a disappointing day for Labour.  John Baron MP is out early on "Today" to demand an EU referendum bill.

Screen shot 2013-05-03 at 05.14.40Screen shot 2013-05-03 at 05.19.46

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 "UKIP have won at least 26 seats so far and are averaging 26% of the vote in the wards where they are standing. Polling expert Prof John Curtice said it was a "remarkable performance". The Conservatives have lost control of Lincolnshire and Gloucestershire councils, but retained five others, while Labour made modest gains in the Midlands and the south of England…Of the seven county councils to declare so far, the Tories retained control of traditional strongholds Essex, Dorset, Hampshire and Hertfordshire as well as Somerset. But they lost their majorities on Gloucestershire and Lincolnshire county councils, which moved to no overall control, as both Labour and UKIP made gains." – BBC

  • Results map: Tories hold Dorset, Essex, Hampshire, Somerset – Daily Telegraph
  • Parties race to set local elections narrative – PoliticsHome
  • Greening says that the Conservatives should respect those who vote UKIP in local elections – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour takes North Tyneside mayoral post – BBC

"If you're looking for winners or losers from these elections, stick to Britain's Got Talent"

Screen shot 2013-05-03 at 08.25.20"One key finding from YouGov's surveys is that many people give different answers when asked how they intend to vote this week compared with how they would vote in a general election. So both Labour and the Tories are likely to underperform their normal poll ratings, while the Lib Dems and very possibly Ukip will do better than their conventional polling numbers suggest. That, too, should be borne in mind if the BBC and Rallings/Thrasher national vote projections show the Tories well below 30% and Labour well below 40%. All in all, what voters do today will be important, both locally and nationally, fascinating for those of us who follow these things, and possibly dramatic. But if you are looking for simple winners and losers this weekend, stick to soccer, the Voice or Britain's Got Talent." – Peter Kellner, The Guardian

South Shields by-election: UKIP second. Labour hold the seat. Conservatives have half the UKIP vote. LibDems come seventh.

Screen shot 2013-05-03 at 08.27.06
"Emma Lewell-Buck, a social worker and local councillor won the seat vacated by David Miliband, beating UKIP’s Richard Elvin by 6,505 votes, but with a reduced majority. Karen Allen for the Conservatives came third with 2,857 votes and the Lib Dems had a disastrous showing in seventh place with only 352 votes. Ms Lewell-Buck, who secured 12,493 votes in a seat that Labour has held since 1935, said she was “absolutely ecstatic” and that the result showed the coalition Government was taking the country in the wrong direction." – The Times (£)

  • Screen shot 2013-05-03 at 08.37.25UKIP Treasurer Stuart Wheeler says that the party could win ten seats in 2010 – Daily Telegraph
  • Farage dismisses Cameron's EU referendum legislation hint – The Times (£)
  • Boris: PM should 'ram home' message on EU referendum to compete with UKIP – Daily Express
  • Panic is pointless. UKIP’s not a serious party – Philip Collins, The Times (£)
  • Cameron bad hair day 1) People don't know what he stands for, says Zac Goldsmith – Daily Telegraph
  • Cameron bad hair day 2) He is criticised over failure to declare wife’s business stake – The Independent
  • Cameron bad hair day 3) His Number Ten Twitter messages are deleted without being read – Daily Telegraph

> Today:

> Yesterday:

Cameron's Queen's Speech fightback. Out go booze, fag and snooper plans. In come measures to restrict migrant benefit and NHS access…

Cameron Fightback"Nanny-state measures unpopular with traditional Tories – including plans for a minimum price for alcohol and plain cigarette packs – have been ditched from next week’s Queen’s Speech…Instead, several Bills aimed at boosting economic growth, and one which will limit the right of immigrants to access benefits, the NHS and other public services, will be at the heart of the Government’s future programme." – Daily Mail

  • Statutory register of lobbyists faces axe – Financial Times
  • Anger at dropped fag pack proposal – The Sun
  • "Call it the Crosby Effect. In recent days, the Conservative Party has been starting to sound – well, almost conservative." – Daily Telegraph Editorial

…But after next week's push come the spending fight between Osborne and the National Union of Ministers

"The Treasury has given ministers a few weeks to come up with plans to find billions of savings. If they fail to deliver, Chief Secretary Danny Alexander has vowed to take an axe to their administration budgets. This is the £14billion pot of cash that pays for departments’ day-to-day running costs — including salaries, IT and phone bills. His tough stance could force some departments to lay-off staff because they cannot pay the monthly wage bill." – The Sun

Chancellor's allies want bank shares sell-off

Osborne April 2012"They argue that Mr Osborne’s Labour predecessor Alistair Darling allowed the Government to pay too high a price for shares in the two high-street giants when it approved a £66billion cash injection to stop them going bust. The time has come to prepare voters to accept a potential loss when the two banks are privatised, they believe. The state has an 82 per cent stake in RBS and a 39 per cent stake in Lloyds. At current share prices, the taxpayer would make a £24billion loss if the banks were sold off immediately." – Daily Express

  • Osborne's dilemma over share sale – Financial Times
  • Will Osborne choose politics or prudence? – Sam Coates, The Times (£)
  • Tax chief signed bank ‘sweetheart deal to spare Chancellor’, court told – The Times (£)
  • ECB ‘ready’ for more action after rate cut – Financial Times (£)
  • State sector still getting the biggest wage rises: Average worker sees
    increase of 1.7% despite Coalition pledge to freeze pay – Daily Mail

Hague comes to Greening's aid over South Africa aid cut

"William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said that there was “some bureaucratic confusion, perhaps on the South African side”, behind the stinging riposte from Pretoria. A spokesman for Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, said that she had conducted months of discussions with the South African Government before this week’s announcement. South Africa accused the Government of acting unilaterally in ending the annual £19 million of British aid spending by 2015." – The Times (£)

Iain Martin: The Conservatives need a leader who has experience of running a leading world city & a Thatcher-like mop of blonde hair.  Whoever could it be?

Johnson Boris Ruffling Hair
"How can the Tory family be extended and broadened so that it can win properly? I suspect that the answer may lie outside the sphere of conventional Westminster politics. When the time comes, it will take a leader with the ability to make voters – sick of austerity and relative decline – forget their differences. Someone with Thatcher-like charisma, Reaganite optimism, star power, chutzpah, pragmatism, vision, luck, experience of holding office in a leading world city, and perhaps a mop of blond hair. Is there such a person available?" – Daily Telegraph

Labour MPs warn Miliband on spending

"The MPs, including some frontbenchers, are alarmed that the party’s poll lead over the Conservatives has narrowed in recent weeks. They believe this has been caused by the Labour leadership’s uncertainty in media interviews about its economic policy, and by Tory claims that it has become the “welfare party”. Mr Miliband’s critics argue that he must do some hard thinking before Labour responds to Chancellor George Osborne’s Government-wide spending review on 26 June. “It is a big moment for us,” one Labour frontbencher admitted. “We won’t be able to avoid the ‘what would you do?’ question any longer.” – The Independent

  • Frank Field says that Labour failed on welfare – Daily Telegraph
  • Older MPs are now regarded as "dinosaurs, geriatrics or out-of-touch idiots" by Britain’s party leaders who prefer to promote “the youthful and brainless”, says Austin Mitchell MP – Daily Telegraph
  • Ex-MPs demand public money to tour the country and a chance to return to the Commons for an annual debate – Daily Mail

Davey urges Gove to put climate change back on the curriculum

GoveOnLateReview"Amid protests from environmentalists and some students, Gove has removed debate about climate change from the draft geography curriculum. Davey, a Liberal Democrat, argues that inclusion of climate change in the geography curriculum would safeguard the very important role teachers can have in teaching children about climate change. Gove is seeking to slim down the curriculum, but his critics claim the omission of climate change from key stage 3 geography is an attempt to downgrade its significance, and even its validity." – The Guardian

  • When the Education Secretary was an undergraduate, he taunted Mick Jagger about the size of his penis – The Sun
  • Stuart Hall might never have been brought to justice under new police guidelines to give suspects anonymity – The Times (£)

News in Brief

  • Cycling news 1) Margaret Hodge accused of flooring cyclist with her car door while talking on mobile phoneDaily Mail
  • Cycling news 2) Andrew Mitchell's 'plebgate' bike sale closes tonight – The Independent
  • Under-50s with breast cancer at record high – Daily Telegraph
  • Obama reconsiders arming Syrian rebels – The Guardian
  • Row over new police chief to be paid £192,000 a year – Daily Express


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