6pm I'm signing off now. Some fascinating results with intriguing consequences. The BBC's final tally is that the Conservatives have net losses of 335 councillors, Labour net gains of 291, Lib Dems net losses of 123 and UKIP net gains of 139.
Welcome to four party politics!
5.45pm Conservatives have held Northamptonshire with a reduced but still big majority. UKIP are on three. Labour up from 6 to 11. Lib Dems remain on 10.
5.40pm Anglesey remains under No Overall Control. The Independents are the largest group with 14, Plaid go up to 12, Lab down to 3, Lib Dems down to one, no Conservatives. However there seem to be new boundaries with fewer councillors.
5.25pm Labour have gained the directly elected Mayor of Doncaster. The incumbent Peter Davies was elected as an English Democrat and then became an independent and Labour defeated him. But the Labour majority is only 600 votes. It should be a much bigger Labour majority in an area like Doncaster if the Party is to win a General Election in two years time. Does anyone spot a pattern?
5.20pm Nigel Farage says he will allow UKIP councillors to make their own decisions about coalition arrangements.
5.15pm Dan Hodges tweets:
Any Labour Party member, MP or commentator who says Labour is winning in 2015 based on these results should be sectioned.
5.10pm David Cameron tweets:
There are lessons for all parties today. For the Conservatives – we need to focus even more on the economy, welfare & controlling immigration
4.55pm Labour have held Durham.
4.40pm The point has been made that UKIP have taken votes from Labour and the Lib Dems as well as Labour. The point have also been made that Labour have done very badly relative to what would have been expected.
However there is still evidence that UKIP take more votes from the Conservatives than Labour and that obviously this is a great help to Labour. Consider Nottinghamshire where Labour won by a single seat. In Beeston South and Attenborough Labour gained a seat from the Conservatives. Labour had a majority of 129. UKIP got 524 votes.
4.30pm Despite the Council Tax increase the Conservatives had a good final tally in Surrey. They really gave away the Shalford seat to UKIP by not putting up a candidate – no fault of the outgoing Conservative councillor Simon Gimson. UKIP did also pick up a couple of other seats which may indicate some disgruntlement over the Council Tax. But the Conservatives ended one seat up and the Lib Dems making losses.
4.25pm According to the BBC the latest tally is thatthe Consevatives have made net losses of 261. Labour net gains of 232. The Lib Dems net losses of 100 and UKIP net gains of 109.
4.20pm Labour have gained control of Nottinghamshire. This was a key target as the Conservatives gained it from them last time. But it is by the closest possible margin. Labour have 34 seats out of 67.
4.15pm 4.05pm UKIP have eight seats in Kent and so become the main oppositon party there. It is a good example of how Labour have not made anything like the sort of gains they should have to be on course for a General Election victory. Last time they lost 18 seats and went down to two. This time they have gone up to six.
4pm Cornwall remains under No Overall Control. This was a Conservative/Independent coalition before. That could still continue although the Conservatives are down and UKIP have six seats.
3.50pm So far the Green Party are on 16 – a net gain of one.
3.30pm David Cameron on UKIP's vote:"We need to show respect for people who have taken the choice to support this party and we are going to work really hard to win them back."
3.25pm The Conservatives have held Suffolk with a big majority. But UKIP now have nine councillors there.
3.20pm The Conservatives have held Kent.
3.10pm Cambridgeshire's final tally is Conservatives 32, Lib Dems 14, UKIP 12, Labour seven, independents four. So the coalition options would seem to be Conservative/Lib Dems or Conservative/UKIP or Conservatives/Independents.
3.05pm Figures so far show net losses by the Conservatives of 196 councillors. Net gains by Labour of 158. Net losses by the Lib Dems of 61 and net gains by UKIP of 76.
3pm The BBC have produced a projected national vote share of Labour 29%, Conservatives 25%, UKIP 23%, Lib Dems 14%.
2.55pm The Conservatives have lost overall control of Cambridgeshire. Big losses to UKIP. This was a Conservative council that decided to increase the Council Tax..
2.50pm The Conservatives have held Staffordshire.
2.45pm UKIP with 10 seats on West Sussex County Council are now the main opposition there.
2.40pm The Conservatives have lost control of Oxfordshire by just one seat. There are 31 Conservatives out of 63. This is a poor result which may well be due to the Conservative council's decision to increase Council Tax.
2.35pm Isle of Wight has fallen from the Conservatives to no overall control with big gains for the independents.
Who will end up running Lancashire? Labour are slightly ahead with 39 seats the Conservatives 35. There is a Green Party councillor but also six Lib Dems and three independents.
2.30pm The Conservatives gained seats from the Lib Dems in Northumberland.
Bristol remains under NOC – the Conservatives ended up with an unchanged total of 14.
2.25pm The Conservatives have held Surrey.
Northumberland remains under no overall control although Labour have overtaken the Lib Dems as the largest party.
2.20pm What deals will there be in Norfolk? The Conservatives have 40 seats. UKIP are on 15. Labour are on 14. Lib Dems are on 10. The Green Party are on four and there is an independent. So either a Conservatve/UKIP coalition or Conservative/Lib Dem coalition would be viable mathematically. But it does seem that the proposed incinerator would have to be abandoned either way.
2.15pm The Conservatives have held Wiltshire. The Conservatives have held Leicestershire.
2.10pm The results from East Sussex have the Conservatives on 20, Lib Dems on 10, Labour on seven, UKIP on seven, Independents on five.So either a Conservative/Lib Dem coalition would have an overall majority or a Conservatve/UKIP coalition.
2.05pm There is a recount in the election for Mayor of Doncaster – it's "too close too call." Again this is something Labour should be able to win easily to be on course for a General Election victory in 2015.
2pm Labour have failed gain Lancashire. This was a key objective for them.
1.55pm The Conservatives have held Worcestershire but lost overall control of Norfolk
1.50pm The Conservatives have held Shropshire.
1.45pm The Conservatives have held control of North Yorkshire, Buckinghamshire and West Sussex.
1.20pm The Conservatives had lost overall control of East Sussex. They are the largest party while UKIP have six seats so far. Another Conservative/UKIP coalition.
1.15pm It is looking to me as if the Conservatives will hold Staffordshire. Labour are failing to make the sort of gains they need.If so this will be a key result. Staffordshire was gained by the Conservatives last time. In 2005 it was won by Labour with an overall majority. If Labour can't win it this time, or even become the largest party, that is a very bad result for them.
1.10pm The Conservatives have held Devon with a huge majority. There are 38 Conservatives (down from 41 last time.) The Lib Dems are on 9 (down from 13), Labour 7 (up from 6) and UKIP 4 (from nil).
1pm The Conservatives have been making gains from the Lib Dems in West Sussex and Devon.
12.50pm Cumbria remains under NOC. However Labour have overtaken the Conservatives as the largest party.
12.45pm Greg Hands tweets:
Looks like Labour might come 3rd overall in % vote share.
CCHQ Press Office tweets:
Can Miliband match or beat Michael Foot? In 1981 Labour took maj. control of: Cumbria, Lancs, Derbyshire, Staffs, Northumberland, and Notts.
12.40pm The Conservatives have lost overall control of Warwickshire. This was a council which the Conservatives gained from overall control last time.
12.35pm UKIP are gaining several seats in West Sussex.
12.20pm Labour have gained overall control of Derbyshire.
12.10pm UKIP have gained a seat from the Conservatives in Surrey.
12.05pm The BNP have lost their only county council seat – one their held in Lancashire.
Lord Liddle has won a seat for Labour in Cumbria.
11.40am The Green Party have gained the Leamington Brunswick division in Warwickshire from Labour. The Conservatives have gained a couple of seats from the Lib Dems. However Labour have also made several gains – at least six – from the Conservatives.
11.30am Conservatives have gained a seat from the Lib Dems in Devon – Newton Abbott North. Devon was one of the councils the Conservatives gained from the Lib Dems last time with a big majority.
11.20m Early results in Buskinghamshire show the Conservatives holding five seats but losing one to UKIP.
11.15am Conservatives generally seem to be doing well in the results from Devon but have lost one seat to UKIP.
11.10am East Sussex counted some seats last night with Labour making gains in Hastings.
11.05am Labour have gained a seat from the Conservatives in Derbyshire. This is Labour's easiest target.
In Kent the Lib Dems have gained a seat from the Conservatives.
11am Further Conservatives losses in Norfolk. I understand there was a local issue there involving a proposed incinerator in King's Lynn.
10.45am Looks as though the Conservatives are in trouble in Norfolk. So far have lost two seats to UKIP and another to Labour.
10.25am The Conservatives have gained a Council seat from the Lib Dems in Bristol. The Green Party have also gained a seat from them there.
10.20am The BBC add that UKIP's vote share is 16% in Gloucestershire, 24% in Lincolnshire, 22% in Dorset, 27% in Essex, 20% in Somerset, 25% in Hampshire.
10.15am Here is the BBC estimate of share of the vote:
10.05am The Green Party have gained a seat in Warwiskshire ousting the Conservative council leader.
9.45am Good morning.
We have some results from Staffordshire County Council as a few divisions were counted overnight. This is one of the councils the Conservatives gained from Labour last time. For the Conservatives to hold on here would be very good. It looks as though they might. There are some close results in Tamworth with the Conservatives holding on in a couple of places Labour need to take
If I was Chris Pincher, the Tory MP, for Tamworth I would be spending this morning dancing a jig and punching the air. Given that his constituency includes some Tory bits of Lichfield on the basis of these results he would be back in the House of Commons quite comfortably. This constituency is one of Labour's "battleground targets." If Labour can't even come close to taking it now, how confident can they be of winning it in 2015?
Remember gaining Staffordshire would be merely adequate for Labour. To actually get a good result would mean something a bit more ambitous – like gaining Cumbria or Warwickshire.