We might be getting accustomed to coalition politics in Westminster, but in local government the art of two-party government is suffering a few setbacks at the moment.
Everywhere you look, the fates conspire against the government.
The local election and referendum results present both challenges and opportunities for the leaders of Britain's three parties.
The second part of our story of the night
We've lined up a team of pollsters, academics, party political people, MPs, columnists and policy wonks who are helping us interpret the results throughout Thursday night and all through Friday.
Ed Miliband's party is continuing to make solid gains across England, as local election results continue to hammer the coalition's Conservative and Liberal Democrats.
While Ukip splits the right-wing vote, the decline of the Lib Dems unifies the left.
Here are our election result tables showing how power is shifting across England, Scotland and Wales as a result of May 3rd's voting.
Voters in England, Wales and Scotland go to the polls today as a host of vital elections are held across the country.
A year ago, May 5th 2011, was the grimmest of days for the Liberal Democrats. The party lost some 700 councillors, and, more cruelly still, a once-in-a-generation chance of electoral reform at Westminster with the rejection of the AV referendum. The question hovering over Thursday's set of elections is: is 2011 as bad as it gets for the party?
Nick Clegg is in an upbeat mood ahead of this week's local elections, as he insists that Liberal Democrats are "getting a hearing".
Labour's leaders are fighting this week's local elections by pointing the finger at the "out-of-touch" coalition government.
The Scottish nationalists launch their pledges for next month's local elections today, pledging to "put the people first" and run proactive councils.
David Cameron chose attack as the best form of defence as he launched the Conservatives' local elections campaign.
Plaid Cymru members are hoping their new leader will give nationalists a boost at the polls, as the party launches its local government elections campaign.
Watch Labour's political broadcast for the local elections, featuring Doctor Robert Winston.
David Cameron will insist the Conservatives are focused on "the horizon, not the headlines" in his speech kicking off the Tories' local government elections campaign later.
Labour has set its tone for May's local election campaign with Ed Miliband calling for a return to a society which values "solidarity".
Nick Clegg has called on Liberal Democrats to be "proud" of their party's achievements at the beginning of a gruelling local elections campaign.
Ed Miliband has launched his party's local elections campaign with a plea to voters that "Labour is changing".
Labour has unveiled five pledges to help struggling families ahead of the local election campaign.