Vote 2012: Labour are back throughout country, says Ed Miliband


Ed Miliband: ''Labour is taking nothing for granted''

Ed Miliband has told voters Labour are "back throughout the country on your side" after making big gains in the English, Welsh and Scottish elections.

In Scotland they gained a majority in Glasgow, while in Wales their results were the best since 1996 and in England they gained 22 councils.

Overall Labour gained 823 councillors. The Tories lost 405 and Lib Dems 336.

But Prime Minister David Cameron said he would continue making "difficult decisions" to deal with the deficit.

With all the results in, the BBC's projection of the national share of the vote has Labour with a 38% national share of the vote, up three points, with the Tories down four on 31%.

The Lib Dems' projected national share of the vote is estimated to be unchanged at 16%. But the party's total number of councillors has dipped below 3,000 for the first time since it was formed in 1988.

In other developments:

Conservative ministers have shrugged off the results as typical for a mid-term government.

Council election results

Party Councils Councillors
Total +/- Total +/-
LAB 75 32 2158 +823
CON 42 -12 1005 -405
LD 6 -1 431 -330
SNP 2 2 424 +57
PC 0 -1 158 -41
OTH 5 -2 685 -132
NOC 51 -18

After 181 of 181 councils declared

More detailed results & map

Addressing activists in Southampton, one of the key councils gained by Labour, Mr Miliband said his party's campaign had been based around "the things that matter to people" - attacking the coalition as "out of touch".

His party took control of series of key councils in the south-east of England and the Midlands, including Birmingham, Plymouth, Reading, Norwich, Thurrock and Harlow.

"For the parents worried about their son or daughter who can't find a job, for the people who are seeing their living standards squeezed, for the people who think this country only works for a few at the top and not for them - Labour is back on your side. Labour is back in the south of England on your side, Labour is back throughout the country on your side."

He pledged to reach out to those who did not turn out to vote and to "regain trust", following the party's 2010 general election defeat, saying Labour still had "more to do" to win people over.

Start Quote

The people have spoken. The question now is - what exactly were they saying?”

End Quote

Shortly after his speech the Labour leader was hit on the shoulder by an egg during a walkabout in Southampton.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he was sorry for the councillors who had lost their seats against "a difficult national backdrop" but rejected suggestions he should change course: "These are difficult times and there aren't easy answers.

"What we have to do is take the difficult decisions to deal with the debt, deficit and broken economy that we've inherited and we will go on making those decisions and we've got to do the right thing for our country."

In London Conservative Boris Johnson pipped Labour's Ken Livingstone to win a second term as London mayor, although Labour made gains in the London assembly.

In Scotland - where Labour had been under pressure from the Scottish National Party - Labour gained 58 councillors, the SNP gained 57 with the Lib Dems the biggest losers, with 80 of their councillors defeated.

Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said he was "really sad" that so many Lib Dem councillors had lost their seats but added: "I am determined that we will continue to play our role in rescuing, repairing and reforming the British economy.

"It's not an easy job and it can't be done overnight but our duty is to boost jobs and investment and to restore a sense of hope and optimism to our country."

Overall picture

  • Projected national share: Labour 38%, Tories 31%, Lib Dems 16%
  • Nine cities have rejected calls for an elected mayor, while one, Bristol, has voted "yes"
  • Labour and SNP make big gains in Scotland, Lib Dems lose
  • In Wales Labour had their best results since 1996, with Plaid Cymru, Lib Dems and Conservatives all suffering

The UK Independence Party increased its vote share, averaging about 13% of the vote where their candidates were standing, although it failed to translate that into seats - gaining six but losing five.

Backbench Conservative MP Gary Streeter said Conservative supporters were sending a message to Mr Cameron that "they don't think our leadership is Conservative enough" by voting for the Eurosceptic UKIP.

But Foreign Secretary William Hague rejected any move to the right or left for the government and Lib Dem president Tim Farron told BBC any "lurch to the right" by the Tories would be "bonkers".

More than 4,700 seats have been contested in 128 English councils, with 21 unitary authorities in Wales electing new councillors. In Scotland, every seat on 32 unitary authorities was up for election.

Voters in Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Coventry, Wakefield, Leeds and Bradford have voted "no" in referendums for elected mayors but Bristol has voted "yes". In Doncaster, residents have voted to keep their mayoral system.

· All the latest election results are available at


More on This Story

Vote 2012


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 2780.

    Labour have done well to regain this much support just 2 years have doing disastrously badly in a general election. I understand why people might want to vote for them as an anti-tory or anti-Lib Dem protest vote, but they've still go a long way to go to regain the trust of some parts of electorate.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2680.

    Ed Milliband is making a wise move by saying that he wants to reach out to people who didn't vote Labour at this election. Yes Labour did well, but there are still many people like myself who don't trust them because of their record on the economy and believe that many of their policies are out of line with the needs of the aspirational classes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2666.

    I do hope this doesn't go to the Labour Paty's head. We are in dire need of a proper Labour Party to protect working people and the vulnerable. They are certainly not this, and if they don't sort things out soon, they will lose the next election. Forget the Oxbridge types, let's have some 'Real ' Labour leaders, and fast.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2480.

    Not surprising that Boris and the Tories might do better in London. London has benefited from Billions of pounds of investment via the Olympics and the fact that the Billions needed to save the Banks has effectively been spent in London. I travel to London approx 10 times a year and in comparison to my home town of Preston you wouldn't know there was a recession. We truly are a nation divided.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2388.

    I really don't think yesterdays polls demonstrates any renewed trust for Labour. More like a massive expression of disillusionment with the coalition. I voted in London and I was careful not to vote in anything other than the actual Mayoral election (to avoid party politics). I only cast a '1st choice' and voted for the most independent candidate on the ballot sheet (I'd read her manifesto first).


Comments 5 of 27


More Politics stories



Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.