Latest results from the local elections

The polls in the local elections closed at 10pm. Results will be coming in throughout the night.

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Ukip on the march in Essex as Tories and Labour lose seats

The Tories and Labour suffered today as voters turned to Ukip in the local elections, with the two largest parties in Westminster losing control of councils as a result of gains for Nigel Farage's "people's army".

Stunning results in southern councils appeared to indicate that Essex Man was increasingly voting Ukip and, in a worrying sign for Ed Miliband, the party also made inroads in Labour's northern heartlands.

Ukip gained 11 seats in Basildon to ensure it went from Tory to no overall control, and gains in Southend resulted in the loss of Conservative majority control in those authorities.

The Essex surge by Ukip also hit Labour, which lost control of Thurrock .

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Michael Gove: Message from electorate 'loud and clear'

Education Secretary Michael Gove has said that the message coming from the electorate and the numbers of people voting for Ukip is "loud and clear".

The Tory minister said: "A number of people have voted for Ukip in order to send a very clear message.

"They want to make sure that Government delivers on the policies of controlling immigration, making sure that we reform our welfare state, making sure that we get a proper referendum in Europe. The instructions from the electorate are loud and clear."

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