Party leader Sir Ed Davey called it an “historic night” for the Liberal Democrats after they won big in a lot of Conservative “blue wall” seats across the country.
While counting is still on in 61 councils throughout England, the Liberal Democrats had gained 66 councilors as of 12:30 this afternoon, retaking control of Hull City Council in the process. The Conservatives, on the other hand, had lost 137 councilors and seven local governments.
“It’s looking like a historic night for the Lib Dems,” Sir Ed told Radio 4’s Today Programme.
“We are making big gains from the Conservatives—gains I think we can turn into seats at the next general election.”
“It’s also a huge vote of confidence for Liberal Democrat-run councils like Richmond, where the Conservatives have all but disappeared.”
Sir John Curtice, a polling specialist, told the BBC today that the current results had helped the Liberal Democrats more than Labour.
Daisy Cooper, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, said the Conservatives had taken voters “for granted” earlier this morning.
People all around the UK are fed up with Boris Johnson and the Conservatives ignoring and taking them for granted, according to Cooper.
Cooper thinks that the Liberal Democrats are the only party that can defeat the Conservatives and get Boris Johnson out of Downing Street in many parts of the country.
Daren Hale, the outgoing leader of Labour’s Hull City Council, says that the party lost after ten years in power because Conservative voters moved to the Liberal Democrats instead of the Labour Party.
“In the seats we held, our majority went up,” Hale told BBC Radio Humberside earlier today, adding that “It was the collapse of the Tory vote, which, in a sense, the Labour party isn’t responsible for, that led to those seats changing hands.”
Hull’s new Liberal Democrat council leader, Mike Ross, claimed victory because people feel betrayed by a Labour council after more than a decade.