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There is no question here, this is a good result. Well done DC and all the party and councillors.

Seems to be a number of key points. I think we are getting better at campaigning; the change approach has started to open swing voters minds; with minds more open the core public service messages (that emerged from Labours debacle in the last few days) got through and persuaded more people cahnge vote.

Very interesting that there are some indications that we have overtaken Labour on who could improve NHS!. As I said before we need to do this to win,

Matt

Good ! More comedy performances from Two Slags to look forward to.

It's good news that Prescott hasn't been sacked.We want more TV appearences by that moron to remind people what a shabby,sleazy and incompetent gov't this is.

John Reid, at the start of the BBC1 coverage, said that Cameron would have failed unless he achieved at least a 40% share of the vote. He clearly thought he was setting an impossibly high benchmark to help Labour put a gloss on the results later - "we did badly but the Conservatives haven't really done that well". Nice to see that we did so well that his strategy failed!

This is a good result for us. Certainly the bad time Labour have had recently has been a factor (let's hope it continues!) but I think Cameron's efforts in moving the Conservative party towards the centre have also been important. Without that, I suspect the LibDems would have performed better. People now see the Conservatives in general and Cameron in particular as sharing their beliefs, rather than being way off to the right. There will be sniping from the right who think that we lost the last three elections by not being sufficiently right wing. In the same way, in the 90s, the Labour leadership faced sniping from the left who thought that they were losing by not being sufficiently left wing. I think Cameron has it about right. I think he is following the "and" theory but is currently emphasising the areas where we have traditionally been weak in order to get across the message of change. We are still strong on crime. We are still strong on immigration. We still believe in a small state (and hence lower taxes). To be more trusted on the NHS than Labour is an absolutely stellar result! We have always trailed Labour in this area before. We need to get ahead of Labour on economic competence as well.

Certainly we mustn't be complacent. There is still some way to go to rebuild the party in the north, for example. Cameron mustn't be misled by these results the way his predecessors were by their performance in local elections. There is still a long way to go and a lot will change between now and the next General Election. But this is an excellent start.

In Richmond we lost on a high turnout because our GOTV effort was not as strong as the LD's. The Tory council was actually a good council and did a lot for the environment. It is very disappointing though. However the losses here have been made up for with gains in Kingston and Sutton. In Richmond we have gone back to our pre 2002 position almost exactly.

GOTV? Sorry, being slow this morning.

Get Out The Vote

How ironic that the BNP are doing well in Barking.

Barking Nazionale Party anyone?

I work in Richmond and a number of the people that I work with live locally.

My very, very, very unscientific research indicated that having a couple of high profile Lib Dem MPs in the patch made people think that the Lib Dems ran the council too.

My colleagues said that the Lib Dem leaflets seemed to imply that they were responsible for recent improvements. They didn't get as much contact from us and the Lib Dem message soaked in.

More bits of Lib Dem paper through the door claiming credit for Conservative improvements seems to be what swung it.

I fear the BNP will make more gains as the remaining northern results come in.

Haha! Prescott's lost his department. Now we can benefit from his clowning around while having the satisfaction of knowing he's been neutered.

Good to see David Dimbleby's interview of Nick Griffin exposing the BNP's racism. Griffin's brief attempt to deny stuff that is on the BNP website was priceless! Shame it was at a time when most people won't have seen it.

Unfortunately many people may have seen his interview this morning when he tried to sound moderate by saying "our councillors will stick up for non-whites too".

Thanks James & Andrew.A few lessons for us in Richmond I think.

Well, I've just got back from my count. We gained a couple of seats overall, but in my ward Labour gained from us due to the BNP confusing the issue.

In a ward that is usually a two-way Con/Lab fight the result was Lab 432, Con 409, BNP 376.

This could have the unfortunate effect of inspiring the BNP to put up more candidates next year.

As you might imagine, I am somewhat gutted.

Which ward and council is that Mike?

Just read the results from St Albans, and was glad to see one of the seats that changed hands was the traget ward of South Marshalswick in which I reside. At least I know now that I may have a Lib Dem council, but at least my own councillor is finally a Tory!

We seem to be surpassing the CH preiction, 300 appears still within reach!

That was Irwell ward in Rossendale, Lancashire. We are between Burnley and Rochdale, but don't really have a race issue here as the area is almost exclusively white.

Re BNP

NB that they polled 19% of all the votes cast in BIrmingham, and 16/17% of all votes cast in West Midlands.

The polls give them 6/7% last week. maybe an underestimate I would think.

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