The local elections were a crucial test for the Conservatives. It is one they have emerged from with plenty to celebrate.
With most results in, the party had gained 250 council seats across England and secured control of key areas in London. It is a good start for new leader David Cameron, although the party failed to make the gains they had hoped for in northern cities such as Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle. “Now the hardest work has to start,” he said. “I am very determined that we won’t let people down.”
It was also a good night for the far-right BNP. It has taken seats in the central city of Stoke among other areas. There Labour lost overall control. The British National Party has doubled its number of councillors nationwide, including winning 11 seats from Labour in Barking on the outskirts of East London.