Left Watch

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The election story for Labour so far. Two steps back, one step forward.

By Paul Goodman
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YouGov's Peter Kellner warns wisely in the Guardian against reading today's results forwards into 2015.  Yesterday's elections were concentrated in blue counties, not spread across the whole country.  The turnout will be much higher in 2015.  And so on.

However, it's clear that UKIP's progress isn't just bad for the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats - it's bad for Labour, too.  Miliband needs to make progress in suburban and even rural areas if he is to win with a strong majority in two years' time.

The results so far suggest that his advance is very slow.  In Lincolnshire, Labour lost 15 seats in 2009, and gained eight yesterday.  In Essex, the corresponding figures are 12 and eight.  Two steps back, one step forward.