Now the waiting begins. If you’re interested in the results of around 50 councils which expect to declare overnight, here they are:
Basildon, Basingstoke & Deane, Bexley, Birmingham, Bolton, Brentwood, Broxbourne, Bristol, Cambridge, Cannock Chase, Carlisle, Castle Point, Colchester, Coventry, Croydon, Daventry, Derby, Eastleigh, Enfield, Fareham, Gloucester, Gosport, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Harlow, Hartlepool, Hastings, Havant, Hertsmere, Ipswich, Kingston-upon-Hull, Kingston-upon-Thames, Lincoln, Liverpool, Maidstone, Merton, Nuneaton & Bedworth, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Purbeck Redbridge, Richmond-upon-Thames, Rochdale, Rochford, Rotherham, Runnymede, Rushmoor, Sandwell, South Tyneside, Southampton, Southend-on-Sea, Stevenage, Stratford-on-Avon, Sunderland, Sutton, Swindon, Tameside, Tamworth, Tandridge, Thurrock, Walsall, Wandsworth, Welwyn Hatfield, Wigan, Worcester.
Here are some particularly interesting results to look out for:
Kingston-upon-Thames: The Conservatives hope to take the council after 12 years of Lib Dem rule.
Barnet: Labour is keen to make gains in this Tory-controlled borough.
Worcester: Labour runs a minority administration after a Tory defection and the Lib Dems jumping from right to left. If the Tories win two target seats and retain five they hold, they could take power again.
Trafford: Labour needs to win four target seats to become the largest party on the Conservative-controlled council.
Newcastle: The Lib Dems, once the top dogs on this authority, are hoping to hold on to their eight remaining seats. How well or badly they fare will be another sign of how badly hit the party has been in the North of England.
We won’t get the European election results until Sunday. But though all the excitement has been about how well Ukip will do in those elections, the main parties are also keen for a strong showing in the locals, partly because it’s easier to tell their MPs that these polls are far more closely related to the result in 2015, and because more councillors means more local activists keen to knock on doors on your behalf in a general election.
Rallings and Thrasher expect Labour to gain 490-500 seats, the Tories to lose 200 seats, and the Lib Dems to lose between 340 and 350 seats.
More details and analysis on Coffee House as the picture unfolds. In the meantime, read James Forsyth’s politics column on Nigel Farage’s celebrity status, Peter Oborne on the benefits of Ukip for the whole political system, and Sebastian Payne on young Ukippers.
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