Voters in London and in 114 other local authorities in England went to the polls last Thursday (4 May) in local elections that saw the Liberal Democrats celebrating their best set of local election results in a decade.
At the end of counting, the Liberal Democrats recorded a net gain of 75 seats, just two fewer than Labour on the night, and the largest net gains for the party since the local elections of 2004.
The party successfully defended control of the councils in Eastleigh (Hampshire), Cheltenham (Gloucestershire) and Sutton (London) and secured overall control of the London Borough of Richmond, one of the highest remain votes in the country and where the Liberal Democrats won the Parliamentary seat at a 2016 by-election but lost the seat by 45 votes just seven months later.
Lib Dems GAIN #Richmond from Con in what I think is fair to term a landslide victory.— Election Maps UK (@ElectionMapsUK) May 4, 2018
Greens also gain 4 seats in a local Green-Lib Dem pact that together reduced the Tories from 39 cllrs to 11. pic.twitter.com/ib8zsarsNG
Elsewhere, the party made gains all over the country in Hull, Liverpool, Sunderland, Gosport (Hampshire), West Oxfordshire, Cambridge, Sheffield, Portsmouth, Winchester and St Albans (Hertfordshire).
Based on the results, the BBC's projected national vote share puts the Liberal Democrats on 16% - an improvement on the share of the vote for the party during the final days of the coalition government between 2013 and 2015, but lower than its estimated performance in last year's county council elections.
Speaking after the results, party leader Sir Vince Cable MP said the party had shown “we can win anywhere [..] in both leave and remain areas.” He said: “These results show a return to three-party politics and a strong future for the Liberal Democrats. We stand as the only party fighting for an exit from Brexit, and are making gains against both a Conservative party driven by their right-wing, and a left-wing Labour party absorbed by Corbyn’s dated economic vision.”
You can read more about the local election results 2018: https://www.libdems.org.uk/local-elections-18
Sir Vince Cable says that the Lib Dems have been underestimated and predicts a break through at the next general election, but says they are not contemplating a coalition with Tories or Labour pic.twitter.com/Vj7FT64zKo— SkyNews (@SkyNews) May 4, 2018