Ed Miliband 'pleased' with local election results

Ed Miliband Labour had made gains in Hastings and across the south of England, Mr Miliband said

Opposition leader Ed Miliband has said he is "pleased" with Labour's local election results, arguing that his party can revive the nation's fortunes.

With most of the council results in the elections, Labour has gained 211 county councillors, with the Conservatives losing 247.

But Mr Miliband said he recognised that turnout was low and UKIP had done well.

"There are still lots of people saying: 'Can anyone turn this country around?'" he said. "I believe Labour can."

"We're carrying on that work to convince people we can," he told the BBC.

Labour frontbencher Chuka Umunna added: "The big issue today for the Conservative Party - this is a party that hasn't won a general election since 1992 - is do they look closer to the goal of winning a general election after today, or do they look further away from it?

"On all the evidence we've seen so far, they look even further away from it than they did back in 2010."

The shadow business secretary argued that Labour, on the other hand, was making "excellent progress" in key marginal seats in areas like Nottinghamshire.

"Do we still have a way to go? Of course! We've got lots more works to do," he added.

Labour's target was to gain 200 councillors, although this was lower than the 300 needed to get back to the number of councillors it had in these areas in 2005.

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