Greens and Lib Dems are the big winners from local elections

Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA.

Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

The Green Party and Lib Dems are both celebrating a strong set of overnight local election results as the counting continues.

Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley said: “This is the biggest election night in our history. Greens are winning right across the country, and taking seats from a wide range of other parties.

“The Green message is clearly taking hold and can win anywhere.

“Voters see that we need a new kind of politics, one that recognises the huge imperative of acting on climate change, but also the social emergency that is creating misery and suffering in communities across the country.”

He added: “It is also clear that Brexit has played a significant role in these elections. Greens have been clear in standing up for the UK's membership of the European Union and will continue to do so.”

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Deputy leader Amelia Womack told talkRADIO: “We're breaking through in new councils... I wouldn't say it's a protest vote. It's not been about other parties. It's been about the strength of our party.”

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said his party were “the big winners of this year's elections, with already our best result for over 15 years and more gains expected today”.

Sir Vince said: “Voters have sent a clear message that they no longer have confidence in the Conservatives, but they are also refusing to reward Labour while the party prevaricates on the big issue of the day: Brexit.

“Our army of 100,000 members and 250,000 supporters have shown us to be the strongest campaigning force in local government, in Remain and Leave areas alike.

“We are winning from leave-voting Chelmsford to remain-voting Cotswolds, gaining ground in rural England and cities too.

“Today's Lib Dem surge is a springboard to the European elections, where we are clearly the strongest Remain force on the ballot paper. Every Liberal Democrat vote on May 23 will be a vote to stop Brexit.

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