The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has so far failed to gain any new council seats in the local elections despite trebling its number of candidates.
UKIP had wanted to establish a strong local base
The party lost one seat on the unitary authority of South Gloucestershire.
The party had said it hoped to emulate the Liberal Democrats by starting off with a solid local base and building up its profile nationally.
Results show the principal minor parties are all losing support in key wards compared with last year.
But thousands of votes around the UK still have to be counted, with a full picture only likely to emerge later.
Eyes on assembly
Before polls opened, a UKIP spokesman said having 30 or 40 council seats would be the "first step on the road" to building its support.
It trebled the number of candidates it fielded to "about 1,030" - excluding town and parish councillors.
It had been eyeing council seats in the South West, South East and parts of the West Midlands.
It had also been aiming to get its first Welsh assembly member - where it hoped to benefit from the proportional representation system.