- Conservatives lose 10 councils, including Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire and East Sussex to No Overall Control and Nottinghamshire to Labour.
- Ukip averages 25% vote share – Farage declares they are now the "third party", despite coming fourth overall in number of councillors.
- Tories lose council seat to Labour in Witney - the constituency of David Cameron
And that concludes the election results.
Final tally was: Con 1,116 (-335), Lab 538 (+291), Lib Dems 353 (-123), UKIP 147 (+139), others 208 (+28).
Apart from Ukip's successes - who claim to have gained more than one million votes - there has been some other talking points from today's elections.
The Conservatives lost 10 of their councils, nine of them to no overall control.
Labour took Nottinghamshire from the Tories by just one seat, as well as gaining Derbyshire from no overall control.
Labour failed to stop Cumbria and Lancashire from being under NOC.
The BBC put turnout at 31% - down from 41% 10 years ago.
The Tories have held on to Northamponshire County Council.
The final results are:
Liberal Democrat 6
The Isle of Anglesey, the only contest in Wales will remain in no overall control.
David Cameron has tweeted: "There are lessons for all parties today. For the Conservatives-we need to focus even more on the economy, welfare & controlling immigration".
Labour has retained control of Durham.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has said he is pleased overall with is party's performance in the local elections. His party has Labour has gained 211 county councillors.
Elsewhere, Nick Clegg, leader of the Lib Dems who have not fared so well, has also given his response.
The deputy Prime Minister said: "I have always said it is understandable why it is that people might be attracted to the simple answers that the UK Independence party is offering to deal with this country's complex problems. But I do not think they do have the answers to the dilemmas we face as a country. I believe that the Liberal Democrats do.
"Of course, it is not good to lose half your councillors, as we have done in these elections, but the Liberal Democrats are on a journey. We are on a journey from a party of protest to a party of Government and actually the pattern that has emerged from the results overnight shows that, where we have MPs, where we have Liberal Democrats out on the doorstep setting out our side to the story, communicating our message, we are holding our own and in some areas making gains."
BBC reports the best UKIP performance of the day appears to be in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire, where it won 67% of the vote.
Full results for Nottinghamshire
Labour Party - 34 seats
Conservatives - 21 seats
Liberal Democrats - 8 seats
Mansfield Independent Forum - 2 seats
Other - 1 seat
Independent - 1 seat
Ukip also lost their one cllr during the elections.
This victory for Labour will be seen as a huge boost, having failed to gain control over Lancashire and Cumbria.
In what is possibly the closest winning margin all day, Labour have taken Nottinghamshire City Council off the Conservatives by just one seat.
Labour lost control of Nottinghamshire to the Tories in 2009 having held it for 28 years.
Labour gained 19 seats to win this time round, with the Conservatives losing 14.
Only two more left to declare now: Durham and Northamptonshire
Cornwall will remain under no overall control.
However, one story from the Cornwall elections is that Cllr Colin Brewer, who once said disabled children should be "put down" because they cost the council too much money, has as been re-elected in his division of Wadebridge East.
Elsewhere, the Conservatives have held Surrey, Suffolk and North Yorkshire.
Tories suffered heavy loss in Suffolk, with Labour gaining 11 seats and Ukip 8.
Our reporter Dominic Gover has picked up on a tragic story in Lancashire.
He writies: "Political life in Lancashire is a slightly duller place today, with the Idle Toad party squashed at the polls. Tom Sharratt lost his seat on the County Council in the election. His defeat marks the exit from local government of the Idle Toad party - from a high of three councillors in 2007. Sharratt, who was unaffiliated with any other party, was once sued by a former Toad."
The Conservatives have held control of Kent County Council.
The BBC has come out with their predicted national share if these numbers are repeated at a general election.
The results put Ukip in third place, just 2% behind the Tories.
Lab 29% Con 25% Ukip 23% Lib Dems 14%.
Cameron has spoken more about the results.
He said: "There are major lessons for the major political parties, for the Conservatives. I understand why some people who have supported us before did not support us again.
"They want us to do even more to work for hard-working people, to sort out the issues they care about, more to help with the cost of living, more to turn the economy around, more to get immigration down, to sort out the welfare system. They will be our focus.
"They are our focus. But we've got to do more."
The Conservatives have so far lost nine of their Councils to No Overall Control, losing nearly 200 seats in the process.
The full list:
Isle of Wight
Staffordshire County Council remains under Conservative control.
The Conservatives have lost control of the Isle of Wright, Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire. All three will now go to No Overall Control.
In the Isle of Wright, the Tories won 15 seats, nine less than in 2009, while Labour and Ukip both secured two.
Results for Oxfordshire County Council:
Conservative: 31 seats
Liberal Democrat: 11
Prime Minister David Cameron has responded to Ukip's performance today.
He said: "We need to show respect for people who have taken the choice to support this party and we are going to work really hard to win them back."
Huge result as Tories lose council seat to Labour in Witney - the constituency of David Cameron.
Labour's Laura Price beat Ukip candidate by just 10 votes, while Conservative councillor David Harvey embarrassingly came third with 697.
Full results for East Sussex, which the Consersatives have lost to NOC:
Conservative: 20 seats
Liberal Democrats: 10 seats
Ukip: 7 seats
Labour: 7 seats
Independent: 3 seats
No description: 2 seats
Green: 0 seats
Labour and Co-operative: 0 seats
Labour have failed to take the overall majority in Lancashire, despite Conservatives losing 19 seats.
Labour won 39 seats in Lancashire, only four more seats than second-placed Conservatives with 35.
Lancashire will now be a NOC.
Final result: Lab 39, Con 35, LD 6, Independent 3, Green 1.
Labour have taken control of Derbyshire County Council from the Conservatives, winning 43 seats.
The Conservatives trailed behind on 18, while the Liberal Democrats only managed to secure three.
Describing the Buckinghamshire results, Politics UK said: "Labour managed to get one councillor elected. That may seem small fry, but for Buckinghamshire it's a damn revolution."
The Tories have also held North Yorkshire, Worcestershire and West Sussex, but lost Norfolk and East Sussex to No Overall Control.
In Norfolk, Ukip and Labour both win 14 seats to tie for second. Conservatives win 40 seats.
Latest seats tallies: Con 373 (-109), Lab 122 (+68), Lib 128 (-26), UKIP 52 (+52)
The Conservatives have held onto Buckinghamshire County Council with 41% of the votes.
Lib Dems: 5
Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts: 0
YouGov have released a poll which asked voters for their reasons for backing Ukip.
Not surprisingly, policies on immigration and the EU topped the list, with the opportunity to "protest" the main parties the third most important factor for voters choosing UKIP.
The full YouGov survey results are:
Want immigration reduced (76%)
Want Britain to leave the EU (59%)
Unhappy with the major parties (47%)
Unhappy with David Cameron and his Government (25%)
Ukip reflects my personal values and beliefs (20%)
Positive impression of Nigel Farage (15%)
"Sends a message" (14%)
Unhappy over gay marriage (12%)
New party deserves a chance (9%)
Ukip would run the country well (8%)
The poll added: "36% of British adults say they would never consider voting UKIP - making UKIP least popular, but not putting it far off from the Conservatives, for whom a third (33%) say they would never consider voting. 32% would never consider voting for the Liberal Democrats and 23% say the same for Labour."
No party takes overall control in Cumbria, but Labour in majority.
The party gained 13 seats, but polling expert John Curtice described Labour not getting an overall majority in Cumbria as their "first disappointment" in these elections.
Tory MP Douglas Carswell has written a blog post about today's results.
He writes: "Our problem is plausibility, not policy. For too many people, both Labour and the Conservatives seem to be two sides of the same debased political currency.
"Both parties seem to be run as Westminster-based operations, with a handful of local franchises.Both seem to select candidates who speak and think in the same way.
"On many of the big issues of the day - public service reform, the role of the state, EU membership - it is hard to spot the difference. UKIP is a reaction to the lack of authenticity amongst the smug, politics-as-usual elite who rule Westminster."
The BBC are currently predicting Ukip finish with a vote share of 22%, pushing Labour into third with 20%.
The BNP has lost its only council seat in Lancashire to Labour.
The party came in fourth pace with 358 votes. Labour's Marcus Johnstone won with 1,455 votes.
Results have also shown the Tories lost control of Warwickshire by a majority of six seats.
The Conservatives have lost overall control of Warwickshire County Council.
The results currently are Con 27, Lab 20, Lib Dem 9, Green 2, Ind 2, according to the Leamington Courier.
Labour has gained Derbyshire from no overall control.
Labour lost the council in 2009, but they previously held it for most of the last 40 years.
According to polling expert John Curtice, Labour's vote share is up by seven percentage points compared with 2009 but still five points lower than it was in 2005, he tells the BBC.
Results in Hertfordshire: The Conservatives lost nine seats, Labour gained 12 and the Lib Dems lost one. Full results here.
James Kirkup, deputy political editor for the Telegraph, suggests social media may have played a part in Ukip's success. He reports Ukip was mentioned more than any other party on social networks in the days running up to yesterday's elections.
Interesting story from Accrington North, where Independent cllr Malcolm Pritchard has lost his seat to his own daughter, Labour's Clare Pritchard.
Breaking news! BNP not only lost last remaining seat in Burnley but appear to have come last. Burnley is now BNP free — HOPE not hate (@hopenothate) May 3, 2013
Some good news for the Lib Dems as County Cllrs Barry Aspinell and David Kendall have beaten the Conservatives in Essex.
Cllr Aspinell won Brentwood North with 1842 votes - 673 votes ahead of the Tory - and with 43.3% of the vote.
Cllr Kendall won Brentwood South with 1626 votes - 509 votes ahead of the Tory - and with 38.9% of the votes.
Here's how the Associated Press is reporting the elections so far: "David Cameron's Conservative Party has taken a drubbing in local elections amid a surge of support for an anti-European Union and anti-immigration party."
Defeated Tory cllr Alexis McEvoy has expressed her dismay at losing her seat on the Hampshire County Council to a Ukip.
She writes in the Daily Telegraph: "There is a problem with the people at the top of our political parties. They just don't listen. They don't listen to ordinary people or our concerns.
"The European Union referendum is a good example. They all promise a referendum, but come the time, they change their minds and say 'You don't need a referendum".
"David Cameron says he'll have a referendum, but no-one believes a word he says. I don't believe a word he says, and I'm a lifelong Conservative.
Political blogger Guido Fawkes has described this as the start of Tory cllrs "laying the blame firmly at Dave's door this morning."
So far, Labour has not lost a seat to UKIP. — Tom Miller (@TomMillerUK) May 3, 2013
Conservatives have lost Tunbridge Wells East to Ukip: 1,386 to 1,005. Bristol city council remains in no overall control.
Ukip has taken six seats in Norfolk. they now have more than 50 seats so far in these local elections.
The Local Government Information Unit has described what it has made of the results so far this morning.
They said: "The big story that everyone's focused on is huge gains for Ukip and losses for the Conservatives who've lost Gloucestershire and Lincolnshire to No Overall Control.
"Before we get too carried away though we should note that all the other declared councils are Tory holds and they remain by far the biggest party in Gloucestershire and Lincolnshire.
"Of course these elections give us an insight into the national political mood but it's also important to remember that they determine the way local services are delivered for millions of people. It's not clear that we've yet seen anything that would lead to change in political direction at local level.
"That will become clearer when we see what Labour can achieve in the North and Midlands."
According to the BBC, in seats that voted Conservative in 2009, Ukip has increased vote share by 21 percentage points, while seats that voted Labour in 2009 have switched to UKIP by 16 percentage points.
Labour MP Tom Watson has said he is pleased with his party's results so far.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 programme, Watson said:"We had a good result on what we have seen so far, to get 50% of the vote in South Shields, to win back the mayoralty in Tyneside, to make progress in the Westminster battleground seats within counties is good for us.
The Conservative backbencher Nadine Dorries has told ITV News that Ukip's local election result success is "the day the political landscape significantly shifted".
She added "The rise of Ukip will hopefully force David Cameron and George Osborne to reconnect with true Conservative values and work hard over the next two years to win back the core Tory vote they appeared to be determined to jettison as part of their personal quest to modernise the Conservative party."
10:08 Ukip share by county (via John Curtice) - Gloucs 16%; Lincs 24%; Dorset 22%, Essex 27%, Somerset 20%, Hampshire 25, Herts18%, E Sussex 25%
In the Sun, political editor Tom Newton Dunn asks: "Is this just classic mid-term protest stuff, or are the political plates really shifting?"
The paper has taken a huge stance this year by refusing to back any political party in the local elections.
The inluential paper said: "The Sun is not going to tell you how to vote today. From our very first paper, 44 years ago, we have always remained politically independent.
"We have never served any set party - and we never will. Sometimes we endorsed Labour or the Tories at election times. But today, as 18 million people have the chance to elect new local councils, none of the big four deserves our support."
But if nothing else, let us now be polite to UKIP and their supporters, eh? — Michael Fabricant (@Mike_Fabricant) May 3, 2013
Ukip's deputy leader Paul Nuttall has accused the other political parties of running a smear campaign.
He told BBC Breakfast: "They are playing the man and not the ball and that's never been done in local elections before. No other political party has come under the scrutiny we have."
09:22 Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes has played down the party's poor peformance in South Shields.
He said: "Not a great result. But I've been around long enough to know that often government parties do terribly badly in by-elections.
"But the rest of the country is not the grim picture that you're painting ... In Somerset we've held our ground, in Gloucestershire we've gained seats. In all the places where we have MPs we appear to be doing perfectly well."
09:20 Phillip Fawkes, a distant relative of Guy Fawkes, has been elected as a Ukip councillor in Hampshire. He took the South Waterside ward with a majority of 315 - a 37.2% share of the vote.
Good line from UKIP member: "If this is a protest vote, it's a bloody big protest". — George Eaton (@georgeeaton) May 3, 2013
Here are the current results: Con -66, Lab +30, Lib Dem -15, Ukip +42. BBC political editor Nick Robinson has said of Nigel farge's party so far: "It is the day Ukip emerged as a real political force in the land."
Tory chairman Grant Schapps has also discussed the ever-growing 'Ukip problem' for the Tory party.
He said this morning: "People have sent a message. We get it. We hear what people are saying. "People are concerned that we get on with the big issues facing hard-working people in this country, like fixing the economy, sorting out the welfare system, helping hard-working people to get on.
"Ukip have done well, I don't make any secret about that at all. We need to make sure that we are addressing the concerns of the public."
Tory MP Sir Gerald Howarth has voiced his concerns over the rise of Ukip. He said: "As a Conservative I do think one needs to be concerned because some of [Ukip's] policies on Europe and on immigration are issues are of great concern to the mainstream of the Conservative Party. "I think our priorities have to change."
Early results for UKIP are nothing short of sensational. — Andrew Neil(@afneil) May 3, 2013
Unsurprisingly, Ukip are buoyant about their performance so far.
A spokesperson has told the BBC: "I can now predict with confidence that we will take more than one million votes - more than we took at the entire general election in 2010. It's likely that we might even reach 1.5 million."
Elsewhere, party leader Farage has said: "We've been gaining momentum for over two years. The people who vote for us are rejecting the establishment. And quite right too. I understand that completely.
"But are they voting Ukip just to stick two fingers up or because we're offering positive policy alternatives?"
Farage told ITV's Daybreak: "It's been a remarkable result for us. We have always done well in European elections, but people haven't seen us as being relevant to local elections or in some ways general elections.
So for us to be scoring, on average, 26% of the vote where we stand is I think very significant indeed."
He also told the Daily Telegraph: "This wave of protests certainly isn't short term. It's lasting."
Ukip have also had some good results elsewhere in the country. They won nine councillors in Essex, and a further three in Gloucestershire and one in Dorset.
The Conservatives have retained control of Essex, Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire and Hertfordshire, but have lost Gloucestershire and Lincolnshire, which are both now in 'no overall control'.
Here are the full election results for South Shields
- Emma Lewell-Buck (Lab) 12,493 (50.51%, -1.51%)
- Richard Elvin (UKIP) 5,988 (24.21%)
- Karen Allen (C) 2,857 (11.55%, -10.04%)
- Ahmed Khan (Ind) 1,331 (5.38%)
- Phil Brown (Ind Soc) 750 (3.03%)
- Lady Dorothy MacBeth Brookes (BNP) 711 (2.87%, -3.65%)
- Hugh Annand (LD) 352 (1.42%, -12.79%)
- Howling Laud Hope (Loony) 197 (0.80%)
- Thomas Darwood (Ind) 57 (0.23%)
- Lab majority 6,505 (26.30%)
08:15 The main headlines so far are Labour has retained South Shields, with Emma Lewell-Buck winning 12,493 (50.51%) of the votes. While the result wasn't a surprise - Labour has held the seat since 1935 - the results elsewhere tell the full story.
Ukip finished second with an unprecedented 24.1% of the vote, pushing the Conservatives into third place with 11.55%.
It has been a disastrous morning for the Lib Dems, who finished in a pitiful seventh place with just 352 votes in South Shields, behind two independent candidates and the BNP.
Morning and welcome to IBTimes UK's coverage of Britain's 2013 local elections.
As predicted by many, Ukip are the main talking point so far this morning with their share of the vote currently beating expectations. As of this morning, Nigel Farage's party's average vote currently stands at around 26%.