Detailed number-crunching of all the 10,000+ council seats up for election, based on the lists of nominations published by each local authority, shows:
- Conservatives are contesting 88% of seats (9,264)
- Liberal Democrats are contesting 64% (6,667)
- The BNP are running 717 candidates and UKIP 805 candidates
Labour and the Liberal Democrats have not met the challenge posed by the BNP at these elections. Conservatives are contesting 96.7% of seats against the BNP, with Labour failing to run candidates against the BNP in 47 wards (6.6 per cent) and Liberal Democrats giving the BNP a free run in 129 wards (18%).
Shadow local government minister Eric Pickles said:
'It is a sure sign that a political party is in deep trouble when it cannot find candidates for almost half the seats up for election.'
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