The Tory and Labour spin machines are out in force this morning. You don’t need to watch the TV, Guido has their lines to take.
We’ve lost some excellent councillors last night, and we’ll lose more today.However, only a handful of councils have declared so far, and we’re still in the dark about the majority of results.Of course we understand why some people didn’t vote for us – we need to focus even more on the things that matter to hardworking people: turning the economy around, fixing welfare, helping with the cost of living and controlling immigration.We’ve always been straight about the scale of the task facing this country: there are no easy options, and there’s still a long way to go. But on the issues people care about we are on the right track. The deficit is down by a third. Crime is down. Net immigration is down by a third. And we’ve capped welfare.As we move towards a General Election – the true choice will be between a Conservative Government that will deal with the deficit and control welfare and immigration – and the same old Labour Party who want more borrowing, more spending and more debt.
Over the next two years we are even more determined to continue to change this country to put hardworking people at the centre of everything we do.
One Nation Labour is making good progress. Ed Miliband is determined to ensure Labour keeps changing, keeps working hard, listening more and doing politics in a different way. This is obviously a damning verdict of the Tories and Lib Dems and their failure in Government – they say this morning that they “get it”, but they only offer more of the same.
In South Shields we’ve had a strong result with over 50% of the vote. Council results will take time to come in but Labour’s seen good progress overnight. Winning battleground seats that are crucial for 2015: topping the poll and returning Labour councillors in Harlow, Stevenage and Hastings as well as making 4 gains in Cannock.
Picking up some surprise gains including 5 gains in Weymouth in Dorset and 5 gains in Gloucestershire. Across the country UKIP has taken significant votes from the Tories. The Tories have lost control of heartland councils like Lincolnshire, where UKIP have gone from none to 16 councillors overnight.
UKIP have pushed the Conservatives into a distant third in South Shields. If the Tories lose more than 244 seats they will have seen all the gains they made in 2009, when these seats were last contested and Labour had its worst result in decades, wiped out.
This has been a bad night for the Lib Dems, with their worst ever by-election result in South Shields, coming seventh with less than 2% of the vote. They’ve also lost 5 seats in Hampshire to UKIP.
This is what you will be hearing from the Tory and Labour MPs touring the studios today.