2012 Local Elections - Cameron "Sorry", Clegg "Sad", Miliband Cautious

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LABOUR INCREASE
Ed MIliband Gave A Guarded Welcome To Labour's Local Elections Victories | PA/Getty

Ed Miliband has given a cautious welcome to significant gains by Labour in council elections in England and Wales, but has warned the party has "more work to do" if it's going to secure a victory at the next general election.

The party is keeping the champagne firmly on ice because results are still coming in - and the party fears it will lose control of Glasgow council later when results from Scotland begin to emerge.

Labour is also preparing for Ken Livingstone's expected defeat at the hands of Boris Johnson in the London Mayoral election, a result that's expected by early evening.

Miliband told reporters on Friday morning: “We are a party winning back people’s trust, regaining ground, but there’s more work to do.”

With just over half of the council election results in, Labour have gained more than 500 councillors. The party could find itself with more than 700 new wards by the end of the day.

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As expected the coalition partners have had a bad night - as of 10am on Friday the Tories had lost nearly 300 seats and the Lib Dems almost 160. Nick Clegg said he was "very sad" at the losses, with the Lib Dem children's minister Sarah Teather saying it was "inevitable" that the Lib Dems would take another pounding at the ballot box. That said, Lib Dems are privately hoping that this year's elections won't be quite as bad for them as last year's.

Speaking on Friday morning David Cameron said he was “sorry for all the hard-working Conservative councillors who lost their seats."

"We need to appeal to people and I would note that in these results... in places like Amber Valley and Derbyshire, we still have a Conservative council. We've got to make sure we demonstrate that we're on the side of people who work hard."

See also:

Tactical Voting Expected In London Mayoral Contest

Massive Rejection For Cameron's Elected Mayors Plan

Labour Man Takes Liverpool Mayoral Election By A Landslide

Among other developments on Friday morning, Labour took the first-ever Liverpool mayoral election by a landslide, but so far all of the cities holding referendums on whether to have an elected mayor have rejected the idea - in another humiliation for David Cameron, who pushed the idea in the first place.

It's wasn't a perfect night for Labour, which had to watch as the Respect party gained five seats on Bradford council - mirroring George Galloway's shock win in the Bradford West by-election two months ago.

The Tories lost control of key battleground councils like Thurrock in Essex - although Tory sources say they are particularly concerned by a surge in support for UKIP in polls there.

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Baroness Warsi was criticised by UKIP for suggesting a link between their vote and previous good showings for the BNP.

She told the BBC: "Where Ukip is fielding candidates this time that the BNP did last time but they're not this time, I think that will have an impact. There are members of Ukip who are from all sorts of political parties, but it is an interesting mix there in terms of the number of candidates."

Her comments provoked a furious reaction from Ukip party workers, with one senior figure calling her a "bitch" on Twitter before hastily deleting the post.

Later today there will be further council election and Mayoral referendum results - but the big stories will come later in the day from Glasgow council and London.

Labour are not confident of winning either of these polls - Glasgow Council is considered a former Labour stronghold but is at risk of being lost to an SNP surge.

In London Ken Livingstone went into Thursday's poll trailing Tory incumbent Boris Johnson by six points. Most pundits have called the election for Boris - although as a party Labour is expected to do well in the London Assembly elections.

So over 41 hours after polls opened on Thursday morning, Boris Johnson is mayor of London and we can all go to bed to dream analytical dreams about what the results mean for the country.

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Probable ETA of a declaration is about an hour, hopefully less (please)

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London Elects statement:

We have results in from 13 of the 14 constituencies in the Mayor of London and London Assembly election. The final constituency is Brent & Harrow. The Greater London Returning Officer has been in touch with the CRO for Brent & Harrow to establish the reason for a delay. All batches of ballot papers were registered and scanned. Two batches went to storage without some ballot papers being manually entered as required. Manual entry is required when a scanner cannot read a ballot paper – for example if a ballot paper is damaged. It is not an issue with the scanners. The issue was identified during the verification stage. These two batches are being re-processed. To make this happen as quickly as possible we have separated out into several smaller batches. This is why the progress screens appear to show a changing number of verified ballot papers.

We will declare as soon as possible but it is obviously important that every vote is counted.

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Well we don't entirely know. The latest is that at least two ballot boxes were found unscanned at the Brent count, and they're now being counted by hand, for some reason.

There are rumours that Ken's team has asked for a full recount in Brent, which would delay things for another few hours.

London elects thinks it'll be only another 20 mins, but they've been saying that for nearly two hours.

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@ tnewtondunn : The Sun's pollster Peter Kellner of YouGov calls it - "Boris has won. He has too big a lead for Ken to overturn".

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It's leading to a sharp narrowing in the polls between the two candidates. On 1st preference votes Boris now has 44% and Ken 40% - 8 out of 14 constituencies have now declared.

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Here's the latest.

london shocker

People are talking about 50/50 odds between Ken and Boris. The atmosphere at City Hall has changed dramatically in the past half hour.

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Ed Miliband, speaking in Southampton, has declared that Labour is "coming back".

This comes after Labour took control of Southampton from the Conservatives.

He railed against the "out of touch government in Westminster".

"David Cameron promised change, not for the better but for the worse. Today in Southampton, it is a rejection of the economic failure of this government, and the unfairness of this government". he added

He also boasted that Labour is "beating back" the SNP in Scotland.

He recognised the low turnouts, saying it showed there was "still more to do".

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Conservative MP Peter Bone has said that the PM has 'one hand tied behind his back'.

"Worst of all, we've got the Liberals holding us back" he added

The results signified the "beginning of the end of the coalition", he told the BBC.

"We're seeing Boris winning as a Conservative in London, yet the Coalition losing against Labour. So the message must be let's come out of this coalition as soon as possible." he said

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Liam Byrne, who quit the Shadow Cabinet in preparation for running for Birmingham Mayor, has just tweeted this

@ LiamByrneMP : A huge thanks to ALL who supported Yes2Mayor, Albert and me: our job now is to get 4-square behind our brilliant new Lbr council #brummayor

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@ SmithTonyD : Brum result: Leader 120,611, Mayor 88,085. 57.8 Per cent "no" #BrumVote12

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@ oflynnexpress : Brum votes No to a Mayor. Has anyone noticed people like voting No in refs? No2EU

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With 56 of 79 seats declared, Labour currently lead over the SNP by 29 to 20.

Barring a major upset, Labour will resist the SNP advance in Glasgow.

@ suemacmillan : Labour holding its majority in Glasgow is a whopper of a result. Well done @scottishlabour

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@ JenWilliamsMEN : Ian Stewart is mayor of Salford.

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@ baddogOTM : Labour win CHIPPING NORTON! David Cameron, Rebekah Brooks, Elisabeth Murdoch, Steve Hilton + Jeremy Clarkson now have a LABOUR council.

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With 166 of 181 councils declared, Labour have gained more than 700 council seats.

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Former Libdem leader Paddy Ashdown has said the Liberal Democrats should "keep on doing" what it is doing.

Speaking to the BBC, Lord Ashdown said the party's mettle has been "tested" by the results.

"The party's mettle has been tested, it has been tested before. We should keep on doing what we're doing" he said

"It doesn't look as bad in terms of hanging onto our seats that we have got as it might have been." he added.

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According to the Guardian, Ken Livingstone's team are privately conceding defeat.

They reportedly also think Boris Johnson will increase his majority.

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A council candidate dressed as a penguin called Professor Pongoo has received more votes than the Liberal Democrats in Edinburgh.

Professor Pongoo (real name Mike Ferrigan) was an independent candidate who had pledged to wear the penguin outfit to every council meeting if he was elected.

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From the votes counted so far, Labour are on 44%, Conservatives are on 33% and the Greens are on 8%.

The LibDems dwell at 7% while Ukip are on 5%.

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Harman castigated Watson for his "hold your nose and vote for Ken" comment - and was a bit hesitant to agree that Ken had been the right candidate in the first place...we thought.

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Clearly annoyed, Farage has arrived at City Hall and says that the ballot paper fail was UKIP's fault, not London Elects. But he's blaming it on UKIP's poor performance. They're currently trailing in 6th place behind Siobhan Benita

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Ukip leader Nigel Farage is reportedly furious that his party's candidate for Mayor of London, Lawrence Webb, was listed on the ballot paper as Fresh Choice for London.

webb

He says it was a 'cockup which undoubtedly cost UKIP votes' and could have helped Boris Johnson's bid for four more years at City Hall.

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Also here is a round-up from HuffPost of Tory dissent following the local elections drubbing. A few themes emerge. Many Tories think House of Lords reform is a distraction - a couple but don't like gay marriage, but the overwhelming narrative is there needs to be a growth strategy.

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In an update to previous news about the BNP's difficulties, it has emerged that the party has lost every single one of the 12 seats it has been defending.

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@ Kevin_Maguire : Looks like Labour will win London but lose the Mayoralty, getting most votes/seats in the Assembly but Blue Boris beats Red Ken

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@ StewartHosieMP : 16 out of 16 #SNP win outright control of Dundee

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