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UKIP election successes send ‘loud and clear message’

Local election results are showing a “remarkable” success for UKIP, party leader Nigel Farage has stated.

Public support for UKIP has risen dramatically, and the party has won 42 seats so far, with counting in the local elections ongoing this morning. In Lincolnshire, UKIP won 16 seats to become the official opposition.

Contests are taking place in 27 English county councils and seven unitary authorities, plus Anglesey, with around 2,300 council seats in England to be fought over.

Conservatives have lost control of two councils, but retained five. Labour has made some gains in the south of England and the Midlands. The Green Party won its first council seats in Essex, but lost its only seat on Hampshire council.

Farage said: “Britain is in a mess and we need radical reform. There is now a settled majority that wants us to get our country back. Three parties, three fronts benches who look the same and sound the same and made up of people who basically have never had a job in the real world.

“But are they voting UKIP just to stick two fingers up and to scream very loudly or are they voting UKIP because we're offering positive policy alternatives? I don't think these votes are going away quickly.”

Tory chairman Shapps told Radio 4’s Today programme: “Lots of people have chosen to vote for not one of the three mainstream parties, so it hasn't been a great night for any of the mainstream parties.

“I do accept that people are sending quite a clear message. They are impatient for change. They want the economy fixed, they want the welfare system sorted out, they want a government that is on the side of hardworking people, they want the immigration system resolved and a say over Europe as well. That is a very loud and clear message.

“What I would really say is we get it. We have heard you. We understand. We are also anxious to make progress in all of those areas as well.”

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman told the BBC’s Question Time programme: “We should listen very seriously if people are feeling disaffected and disenchanted. It is a challenge to us, it's a wake-up call for us to actually listen to people who feel that times are hard and wonder whether any of us have actually got the answers.”

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Image c. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire


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