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A perceptive and generous article. I'd add one more reason to be cheerful -- we did well, but not to the extent of fooling ourselves that there isn't a great deal more work that needs to be done.

Similarly, Labour have done abysmally, but not to the extent of being shocked out of their arrogance.

I'm confused. We win nearly 900 seats, a total beating all expectations, on not much more than 40% -- a good enough total, but not beating all expectations.

Can any one explain the mismatch? Is the BBC's projection a bit dodgy -- or did the votes just happen to pile up efficiently?

Any illumination gratefully received!

Does any one know (even roughly) how many Councils are Tory-free? (Given there are now 80 that are Labour-free)

"More needs to be done to demonstrate that the Conservative Party aspires to lead a one nation government - committed to the welfare of the people of Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle..."

What about Sheffield, Bradford, Leeds, Hull, Doncaster, Barnsley, Wakefield...?

Chris, Eric Pickles was hoping for it to go into single figures but I don't think it is more than a dozen.

What about Sheffield, Bradford, Leeds, Hull, Doncaster, Barnsley, Wakefield...?

I hear that in Leeds Andrew Carter's Green-Con-LibDem Coalition will be a minority administration this time around....and noone knows how Labour won in Gipton (or was it Harehills ?)

As for Bradford I suppose it will be Con-LibDem again.....but why the swing to Labour ? Conservatives lost one seat to BNP

well done to all the new winners. Although the scottish results were a bit of a disappointment we actually did quite well in my home area and picked up new Councillors after some real hard campaigning in the wards concerned. I was wondering (for those of you fortunate enough to live in areas more used to electoral gains than we are) if anybody has any specific advice for whow we can use these new councillors to build up our infrastructure in these areas. any ideas would be much appreciated because if these areas can cover themselves for next time we can move onto other wards with the core activists and try and gain them in 2011. thanks.

Scottish Conservatives - nice problem to have! Considering the squeeze that all but the SNP & Labour had, the results in Scotland were better and you are in a great position going forward.

First bit of advice - oppose fortnightly rubbish collections with all your might.

Re the endlessly repeated Lib/Lab/BBC mantra about Manchester. The Tories lost their last parliamentary constituency in Manchester 20 years ago and won that election by over 100 seats. They also won the following election. While it would be nice to have seats in these cities you do n't need them to win an election. I have n't heard that Labour are throwing in the towel because they're unrepresented in 80 districts.

Does anyone know how many Labour MPs who previously had a Labour council to collaborate with now find themselves with an other-than-Labour council to deal with?

Not sure of the number but they're very concentrated in the East Midlands where Labour lost one council after another yesterday pm. If you mean Lab/Lib as well - around 20(?)


Sorry, my point was that Tim has fallen into the trap of seeing the North as Manchester Liverpool and Newcastle. It really gets on our nerves that the whole area East of the Pennines and below the Tyne-Tees region is ignored. That's a lot of people who could elect Tory MPs. The people of Hull, for example were fed up with Labour and went Lib-Dem. Even in the East Riding, where the council has gone Tory and the Lib-Dems took a drubbing, there are non-rural middle class areas that refused to vote Tory and elected Lib-Dems.

Incidently I spoke to a Lib Dem councillor today from the East Riding who said the Tories had totally smashed the Lib-Dem machine and their morale is at rock-bottom. They are all very old and still fighting the 1987 election!

Conservatives looking for inner-city revival are more than welcome to join us here in Salford, where following two gains on Thursday we now hold 10 seats in 5 wards, and we were a mere 34 votes from taking Kersal ward at the heart of the inner-city.

Well, there you are. Congratulations!

A few here in the north-west, PTC. Target seats with new Conservative-controlled Councils include Blackpool North, Blackpool South, South Ribble and Chester. Several others are already cohabiting, or have minority Conservative administrations or Conservatives as the largest party: Chorley, West Lancashire, Crewe & Nantwich, Barrow, the Rossendale part of Rossendale & Darwen, Hyndburn, Bury North, Bury South and the Fleetwood end of Lancaster & Fleetwood.

Conservatives polled a majority on Thursday in seats you might consider long-shots, like Wallasey and Worsley & Eccles South.

Confused - the reason why the Conservatives gained many more seats on a relatively low share of the vote was because, in 2003 - the last time these wards were contested - the Tories polled 35% and Labour 31%. The Tory lead in 2007 was 13%, compared to 4% in 2003; hence the gains.

I agree with most of the "reasons to be cheerful", but I remain unconvinced that the Tories are doing well in the areas they need to be to win - you can't just write off the northern cities as Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester; while there aren't any Tory targets there, there are plenty in Bolton, Bury, Bradford, Leeds, Kirklees, Calderdale and Sefton - to name a few; and the Conservative performance just wasn't impressive in any of these major metropolitan districts. In some the Tories improved, but not comparative to Labour, who either matched the Tories in seat gains, or did better.

Sure, seats like Blackpool North and South Ribble now look promising, but the odds look just as hostile in places like Keighley, Bolton NE, Leeds NW, Batley & Spen, Elmet and a slew of other critical northern marginals.

The other problem for the Tories is that next year's elections - possibly the last before the General Election - could now see Labour gains; it will be difficult (but not impossible) for them to poll in 2008 as low as they did in 2004; and that coupled with the decent advances they made in the Mets this year could see regains of major cities like Leeds and Birmingham, Liverpool falling to NOC etc. They'll also be hard pressed to do quite so badly as they did in the London GLA constituencies.

So even if the Tories again do well in terms of vote share, it'll be hard to explain to voters Labour regaining big cities and probably, net, a few councillors too.

What really cheered me up (other than the glaringly obvious numbers) is that those fed up with Labour are bypassing the usual 'vote LibDem and give the government a warning shot' tactic and voting Tory.

Although there is still a lot of work to be done before the next election I think the level of contempt the electorate feels towards Labour runs very deep and they know the only alternative government (apart from a hung Parliament with the LibDems as kingmakers) is a Conservative one.

I actually think that Gordon Brown is most unlikely to face a serious challenge for the Labour leadership
could be good news for Labour. Remember they are the ten year incumbants (so need to appear united) and Gordon Brown is already an extremely well known politician. The exact opposite of the situation the Tories and Cameron were in..

Congratulations Iain.

I think you've gone mad Tim. 40%? 40%! That's not an election-winning percentage. Don't give in to the frothy coverage. I thought CH was more sobre. Perhaps I'm wrong.

I wish I could agree with 40%! That's not an election-winning percentage

I fear it would be, Jenifer. It would give a conservative majority of 30 or so. With tatical voting from Labour to LibDem that could drop, but the tactical vote is already pretty big in the south west, and the LibDems are losing ground to the Conservatives.

Sadly this would be a government without support across whole swathes of the UK and happen over the heads of llterally millions of working class people who don't vote (many of whom are benefitting from things like Sure Start, EMA and the minimum wage)

In general an excellent result for the Tories, but as Peter Coe and Arthurian Legend (elsewhere on your blog) pointed out, we made no progess in West Yorkshire where up to 9 seats, inculding Colne Valley and Calder Valley, are there for the taking.

These could be the difference between a majority and minority administation.

In general an excellent result for the Tories, but as Peter Coe and Arthurian Legend (elsewhere on your blog) pointed out, we made no progess in West Yorkshire where up to 9 seats, inculding Colne Valley and Calder Valley, are there for the taking.

These could be the difference between a majority and minority administation.

40% would be a winning percentage of Labour continue to perform disasterously.

The best news for the conservatives is that if this was a vote "against" labour... the liberal democrats would have improved. They didn't.

This was more of a vote "FOR" the conservatives. At the next general election, we have to get rid of the idea that we will get a landslide. We CANNOT get a landslide (not without Scotland, Welsh support).

Many thanks to ConservativeHome. Fantastic job on the election night. I hope next time, CH will put information from members on the blog. As many of the comments about wins/losses were well ahead of BBC/sky.

I think Wales will give support to a good GE result. We came very close in a number of Assembly seats (same boundaries as parliament).

Matt Wright

At least one in Nottinghamshire. Vernon Coaker in Gedling should be looking over his shoulder now.

What of the 40% of seats that Labour did not contest. There is a huge vote not in the Conservative figures. How many no contests were there? In my local council the Tories had 18 seats before a vote was cast, then given the number of contests where 2 Conservative & 1 other were fighting for 2 seats, that contributed 6 more. I think this was Labour cynicism again, dont contest where you know you will loose. It makes no difference to the overall balance on that council, but the national vote share has fewer Tory winning votes so it is understated. Our 40% was in the best areas that Labour would fight us. Nationally it would have been higher, but I accept that we could be piling up votes where we dont need them.

Shame Charles Clarke has chickened out, as Gordon Brown will no doubt as disasterous a PM as he has been Chancellor. At least now he won't have the protection of the Blair media operation to hide all his idiocies. The Conservative Party might cheer, but not Britain. Gordon Brown is dangerous.

I think the (unsurprising) wins in Northern areas like Chester and Blackpool are testament to the hard work and sheer determination to achieve, despite not being made target councils and thus provided with the support to get the job done.

CCHQ and its 'support' services should now take a long hard look at the 'we know best' attitude that prevails and caused them to concentrate resources away from what should have been target councils.

Start listening to your people on the ground!

I feel highly dissatisfied after these elections. We still have Brown and his disastrous antipathy towards the english and their heritage - John Reid just told Jon Sopel he would be quitting as Home Secretary when Blair goes - so we end up with this shambles in the Home Office - Asylum, Immigration, Prison Overcrowding, Incompetent & Overpriced Policing....just festering

We have Scotsmen who think they can screw up England for a few more years and an Army in combat with Mr Cheeseparer himself probably ready to do what the US Democrats want to do and cut off funding so soldiers will need us to collect tesco vouchers for food and ammo

"What of the 40% of seats that Labour did not contest. There is a huge vote not in the Conservative figures"

Can't remember offhand, but I believe estimates of national vote share take that into account.

Not a good result for UKIP either. No break through in Wales as they predicted, no MSPs elected in Scotland and they made a net loss of one councillor in the English local elections. It is interesting to see how they are talking up their performance.

"By scrapping the community charge John Major ended the great source of Tory unpopularity. Does Gordon Brown have the political skill to engineer something similar ? "

Brown is a rigid personality and he probably doesn't . Not impossible though . Labour is looking as though it is coming to an end in Scotland as well large parts of England . The only way in which Brown can reverse this process is to do something dramatic - in England .
This must be him coming out for an English Parliament which he will shortly be in a position to do .

The Tories are going to look endlessly stupid if he suddenly springs this one on them .

Time to lift the self denying ordinance ?

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