Rallings and Thrasher have now produced a definitive analysis of last week's local elections for the Local Government Chronicle. Far the Conservatives to have lost 12 councils and 432 councillors was a sever setback. Unlike last year the losses to Labour were not balanced by gains from the Lib Dems. For Labour the predictable gains in England and Wales were, rather more surprisingly, combined with gains in Scotland.

Clearly if we have losses like last Thursday every year the Conservatives will cease to be the dominant force in local government. Labour are traditionally strong in Wales and Scotland but even if we just look at the English seats last week saw 1,188 Labour councillors elected against 785 Conservative ones.

Those Conservative councillors in marginal wards who are coming up for election over the next year or two (like me) find that concentrates the mind.

On the other hand it is a measure of how strong the Conservative base in local government is that even after last week's results there are 9,004 Conservative councillors in Britain against 6,164 for Labour and 2,236 for Lib Dems. In England there are considerably more Conservative councillors than the number of Labour and Lib Dems ones put together. The Conservatives control 190 councils in Britain – Labour have 114 and the Lib Dems 12.