The Lib Dems dismissed claims the 54 council seats they lost were a complete disaster, and instead claimed "what really matters" was their ability to hold seats.
Deputy Leader Sir Malcolm Bruce told Good Morning Britain: "We have also gained ground in Hull, where we don't hold a seat but where we are strong. Yes we have lost seats...but I dispute the view that this is overall a bad night."
UKIP's successes in the local elections have raised the possibility of them winning a Westminster seat at the general election.
A year ahead of the general election, Ed Miliband's party is seeing only patchy support in areas it should expect to gain ground.
UKIP are likely to make Rotherham a key target for 2015 after a storming result in the local elections.