Elections - the agony and the ecstasy
Elections can bring relief, agony, joy and doubt.
David Cameron must scarcely be able to believe his luck this morning.
A year after failing to win the general election and having announced deep and painful spending cuts he will be deeply relieved that - so far at least - his party has barely received a scratch from the electorate. Losses may still follow but on nothing like the scale once feared.
The reason is clear - it's his coalition partner who has absorbed all the pain. Nick Clegg will have watched in agony as his party headed towards its worst share of the vote in its history and as they were routed in the Northern cities he was so proud to control.
And then there was the surprise of the night - Scotland. The Nationalists' stunning series of results will bring them joy. They were, above all, a personal victory for Alex Salmond. He is re-shaping the politics of his country and dreams of going much further.
Which leaves Ed Miliband. Once all the results are in - he should be be able to celebrate the fact that Labour will govern Wales again, will have many more councillors and a greater share of the vote.
Yet his party will have their doubts when they see it is their enemies - the Tories and the Nationalists - who have the biggest smiles this morning.