'These are encouraging results. There is plenty of hard work still to do, but up and down the country people recognise that the Conservative Party is changing and reflecting their concerns about crime and the poor state of our public services.
'We have over 200 extra councillors - almost ten times the number of Liberal gains - while Labour have lost 300 seats.
'We have increased our support in places like Peterborough, Welwyn & Hatfield, Stroud and Shrewsbury, areas we need to win back in order to win the next election.
'On last night's performance we would have captured constituencies like Ilford North and Rugby & Kenilworth. We would even have won Worcester, Labour's 90th most vulnerable seat.
'For the first time in a decade we have made genuine progress in London, taking Richmond from the Liberals, Enfield from Labour and gaining control of Barnet and Redbridge.
'And we won the mayoral race in Stephen Byers's own constituency where Labour have lost their two-thirds majority on the council, effectively handing us power over the secretary of state's own local authority.
After last night, the Tories are very much on track.'