Clegg claims Lib Dems have done “exceptionally well”

Nick Clegg has claimed that the Liberal Democrats did “exceptionally well” in last night’s local elections.

According to predicted results, the Liberal Democrats have pushed Labour into third place overall with 25 per cent of the vote share compared to Labour’s 24 per cent and the Conservatives’ 44 per cent.

The elections are the first real test of Mr Clegg’s leadership, after taking over from Sir Menzies Campbell in December last year.

“It is a very strong result. We have increased the number of councillors when I was being told for the last several weeks that we were almost certainly going to lose councillors,” Mr Clegg told a BBC reporter.

“We have outpolled Labour for only the second time in our party’s history, and crucially we have been winning against both Labour and the Conservatives.”

Earlier this morning the Lib Dem leader claimed he was “proud” of the progress his party had made, despite falling short of its performance in 2004.