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  1. ITV Report

Sensational performance by UKIP in the local elections

UKIP appear to be polling an average of 25% in those seats they are contesting. Photo: PA Wire

UKIP's performance in the local elections so far is nothing short of sensational. They have gained seats (doing enough in Lincolnshire to deprive the Tories of overall control), but it is votes in the ballot box that are most impressive.

They appear to be polling an average of 25% in those seats they are contesting - many from a standing start - and could end up in second place in the popular vote when all the results are in.

The Conservatives are the biggest losers from the UKIP surge. Control in two of the seven councils to be declared has been lost, and today will bring further bad news. Their overall losses are likely to be in excess of 400 seats: a hundred or more beyond what was considered a par performance given their current opinion poll ratings.

Labour won the South Shields by-election comfortably enough (UKIP came second with a quarter of the vote there too), but are not experiencing the clear swing in their favour that is usually due of the main opposition party in mid-term.

Their chances of council gains will come later in places like Nottinghamshire and Lancashire, but they could end up with fewer than 300 gains compared with a par of 350.

The Lib Dems are putitng a brave face on what looks like another poor set of election results.

Coming seventh and polling fewer than 400 votes in South Shields was woeful, but there is truth in their claim that their vote is holding up better in places where the party has embedded MPs.