The UK Liberal Democrats celebrated a historic night of local elections results as they recorded gains of more than 700 seats at the expense of the Conservative and Labour parties.
It was the best election result in the party's history, passing the record under the leadership of Paddy Ashdown in 1983, when the party won 487 councillors. Liberal Democrats recorded gains all across the country, and also defended almost 700 seats and gained control of 11 Councils. The LibDems only lost seven seats nationwide they were contesting.
The party leader Sir Vince Cable hailed the result as a clear sign the Liberal Democrats are the strongest party for remain going into the European Elections with the party on track to secure a national equivalent vote share of 19% – the best since 2010.
“These are spectacularly good results, stemming from the hard work and the commitment of our campaigners all around the country,” he said. “This is a springboard to the European elections in three weeks’ time, when we hope to do well again.”
“Ours is the strongest Remain voice in British politics. Every Liberal Democrat vote is a vote to stop Brexit.”
Sir Ed Davey told the BBC that "clearly the Liberal Democrats are back in the game” and said they had picked up seats and councils “that weren’t even on our best hopeful list."
On Thursday, over 8,000 council seats will be up for grabs in the local elections held across England. No local elections took place in Wales, Scotland and London.
The party now has three weeks to build on this success for the European Elections.
LibDems have launched their European campaign with a simple message: A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit.
Read more: The local elections - a media roundup
Lib Dem leader: ‘We’re back and we’re your only chance of stopping Brexit’