The Conservatives have claimed success in this year's English local elections with Labour losing a series of high profile seats including Birmingham.
Results to smile about?
Labour lost overall control of the West Midlands city for the first time since 1983 in what will be seen as a big blow for the party.
The party lost eight seats to the Liberal Democrats and three to the Tories in a result that may in part indicate anger among some Muslim voters over Tony Blair's stance on war with Iraq.
Labour also lost Coventry after 25 years of controlling the city but they took Sheffield back from the Liberal Democrats.
The Tories gained 565 council seats across England and Scotland, compared with Labour losing 839 seats and the Lib Dems gaining more than 200.
Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith said: "This is a spectacular victory for the tens of thousands of local Conservatives who have campaigned tirelessly on local issues across the country.
"The Labour Party have had their worst result since the winter of discontent in 1979."
Conservative local government spokesman Eric Pickles said: "We now are the largest party in England as
far as local government is concerned, we are probably going to take 20 councils
"We have done spectacularly well."
Charles Kennedy's Liberal Democrats took heart after gaining control of 11 councils and making in-roads in some traditional Labour areas.
Redcar and Cleveland
North East Lincolnshire
Forest of Dean
Brighton and Hove
They also seemed to be matching Labour with a 30% share of the vote, but lost control of seven councils.
The Tories had a projected 35% share of the vote.
The Green Party gained 16 seats but have lost four.
The far-right British National Party managed to establish itself as the second biggest party in Burnley although it failed to win any seats in Sunderland where it ran 25 candidates.
They also gained two seats in Sandwell, one in Stoke-on-Trent and one in Broxbourne, but party leader Nick Griffin failed to win a seat in Oldham.
Labour also lost control of Bristol, Rochdale, Trafford, Rossendale, Exeter, Rossendale, Broxtowe and Bolton.
They lost East Staffordshire to the Tories who also won through in Congleton, Worcester, Basildon, Stratford-upon-Avon and Taunton Deane.
Up for grabs were more than 10,000 seats on 340 councils - the largest test of public opinion between the last and next general election.
Hinckley & Bosworth
King's Lynn & West Norfolk
Tonbridge & Malling
Polling has also been held to the Scottish Parliament and local authorities and the Welsh Assembly.
Taken together, the contests are the nearest thing to a "mid-term" election in the British political system.
Labour Party chairman Ian McCartney tried to play down Labour's poor showing.
"There's not a government in
history that has not had a bad mid-term, even as good a government as this one," he said.
"The question was could the Conservatives in mid-term under Iain Duncan
Smith do as well as William Hague and the answer to that is they failed
dismally," he told the BBC Radio 4 programme.
But Tory chairman Theresa May told the same programme: "We have got well over
500 extra councillors, we look as though we are on course for over 600 extra
"This is a very good result for us. What we now see up and down the country
is Conservatives in a better position than they were yesterday We have made
Lib Dem gains
Windsor and Maidenhead Royal
Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Matthew Taylor told the programme: "The
truth is the Conservative Party has been flatlining. The only reason they have
made gains is that Labour are down.
"Of course they benefit from that in some areas, but the vote has actually
gone not to the Conservatives but to the Liberal Democrats.
"It is our best ever result in local council elections. We have never had
30% before, equal with the Labour Party."