Live Vote 2014: Local election results

Key points

  • Polls close at 22:00 in English local elections
  • The first results are due in early on Friday morning

Live text

STANDARD Vote 2014 at-a-glance: The big winners were UKIP

Alex Hunt, Politics editor, BBC News Online
Nigel Farage

Leader Nigel Farage had broken with normal practice and predicted the UK Independence Party would top the European elections in the UK. His confidence was not misplaced as they got 27.5% of the vote, ahead of Labour and the Conservatives. They also gained 161 councillors in the local elections. It all left the leader of the party which wants the UK to leave the European Union able to claim an "earthquake" had shaken the country's political establishment and to predict Westminster success next year.

STANDARD Vote 2014 at-a-glance: The Lib Dems were the big losers

Nick Clegg

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg faced pressure to step down as soon as the first disappointing local election results came out on Friday. His party lost 310 councillors. He insisted he would not quit, with Lord Ashdown and others taking to the airwaves to defend him. Then came Sunday night's European election results, which were even worse. Just terrible. The party lost all but one of its 12 Euro MPs as it picked up just 6.9% of votes - finishing in fifth place, below the Greens. There were more calls for Mr Clegg to go but, after a few delays, he did a TV interview looking, in the words of Vicki Young, "exhausted, red-eyed and pale". It would be wrong to change course now, he said, when the party's hard decisions on going into coalition were delivering in areas such as economic growth.

STANDARD Vote 2014 at-a-glance: Anti-establishment Europe

Marine Le Pen celebrating, 25 May 14

It wasn't just in the UK that voters backed a party wanting to see their country pull out of the European Union. The headlines were grabbed by the victory in France of the National Front, which gained 25% of the vote. Leader Marine Le Pen, pictured above, said she wanted an end to the euro and said her party's MEPs would fight to defend France and "crazy measures like votes for immigrants". In Greece the far-left Syriza coalition came first with 26.6%, the far-right Golden Dawn came third with 9.4%.

STANDARD Vote 2014 at-a-glance: All change for the EU establishment?

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, left, and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy address the media

The day after the results came out EU leaders agreed to re-evaluate the bloc's agenda admitting that voters had "sent a strong message", in the words of European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. He was speaking after an informal dinner for the member states' leaders. But despite the anti-EU groups' gains in the elections, pro-European parties won a majority of votes and Mr Van Rompuy said the results showed "a mix of continuity and change". It's yet to be seen how far there will be action to counter what David Cameron said was Brussels being "too big, too bossy, too interfering".

STANDARD Vote 2014 at-a-glance: Where have the elections left David Cameron?

David Cameron at the EU summit

The Conservatives lost 236 councillors across England and slipped from first to third in the European elections, getting 23.9% of votes, behind Labour's 25.4% and UKIP's 27.5%. But if you thought that meant crisis time for David Cameron, think again. Labour's failure to replicate previous Opposition victories in the European elections cheered the Conservatives. The strength of UKIP's vote also had a potential bright side - as Foreign Secretary William Hague put it, voters will have to decide at next year's general election whether they would prefer the referendum-promising David Cameron or Ed Miliband as prime minister. David Cameron, pictured above on his way into the post-election EU summit, said he believed the Conservatives could still win the next election.

STANDARD Vote 2014 at-a-glance: How's Ed Miliband looking after the elections?

Ed Miliband at a post-elections Q&A

Labour finished second in the European elections with 25.4% of votes, ahead of the Conservatives, who got 23.9%, but behind the UK Independence Party who got 27.5%. They did best in the English local elections, gaining 324 councillors. However there was no sense of jubilation in the party with fresh questions about their leader's style and policy direction on things like the EU and immigration. Mr Miliband responded by saying the party had changed its immigration policy under his leadership and stood by his decision not to promise a referendum on the UK's EU membership. Labour said the party had done well in the places it is targeting for the general election and Mr Miliband said the NHS, education and cost of living issues would be bigger election issues than whether the UK should leave the European Union.

STANDARD Vote 2014 at-a-glance: What happened in Northern Ireland

Peter Robinson greets councillors at city hall

The DUP secured the highest number of seats in Northern Ireland's local council elections. They gained 130 ahead of Sinn Féin on 105. The Ulster Unionist Party claimed 88, the SDLP 66 and Alliance 32. The remainder of the seats, 41, were taken by smaller parties and independents. There were 462 seats in the 11 new super councils. contested by more than 900 candidates. In the European elections the three MEPs elected were Sinn Féin's Martina Anderson, the DUP's Diane Dodds and the UUP's Jim Nicholson.

STANDARD Vote 2014 at-a-glance: The story in Scotland and Wales

Scotland's newly elected MEPS

The big news in Scotland was that the UK Independence Party, whose rise in the opinion polls in England has not been emulated, picked up its first MEP after getting 10.5% of votes. The SNP topped the poll with 29% of votes, with Labour on 25.9%, the Conservatives on 17.2%. In Wales Labour topped the poll, with UKIP second, the Conservatives third and Plaid Cymru fourth, with all four parties retaining their one MEP.

STANDARD Vote 2014 at-a-glance: The BBC experts' verdicts

The BBC TV Vote 2014 election special

Political Editor Nick Robinson says the UK Independence Party see themselves as a "people's army" leading a coup against the British establishment. Having moved on Strasbourg and Brussels they've now set their sights on Westminster, writes Nick. The BBC's Europe editor Gavin Hewitt said the revolt had been a long time brewing with Europe restless, impatient for growth and jobs. The battle lines are drawn, he writes, between those who want Europe to do less and return some powers to the nation states and those who regard "ever-closer union" as manifest destiny and see the answer as lying in deeper integration.

STANDARD Chris Mason's elections Q&A

Chris Mason

Here are some of the topics people raised with BBC political correspondent Chris Mason on Facebook: The BBC's coverage of the Green Party; the scrutiny of UKIP's policies other than Europe and immigration; turnout and the reasons people didn't vote; whether the BBC sets too much store by opinion polls; the voting records of UKIP MEPs; and whether the European Union should return to its founding principles. Here is what Chris had to say about the BBC's coverage of UKIP: "The BBC wasn't trying to make UKIP look like fools and neither was it some publicity machine for UKIP as plenty on here are suggesting. We were simply reporting the election campaign, and giving coverage to parties as set out in our publicly accessible election guidelines."