London: Bogged down by double-dip recession, public ire over job losses and deep funding cuts, the David Cameron led ruling coalition was on Friday handed a resounding `No` verdict in the local elections.
As results trickled in from last night, smiles among the opposition Labour ranks grew wider, while the Conservative and Liberal Democrats camp reflected the gloomy weather that has gripped Britain for the last week.
Conservative leaders were hard put to explain the results, claiming it was "normal" for a government to face such results in local elections.
Conservatives candidates lost to Labour even in Prime Minister Cameron`s constituency in Oxfordshire.
Voting projections showed that if the pattern of voting yesterday were replicated in a general election, the Labour party would easily regain the keys of 10, Downing Street, which the party lost in 2010.
Conservative supporters were clinging to the remaining hope in elections: victory for the party candidate and the incumbent mayor, Boris Johnson, in the London mayoral election, whose results are due later this evening.
Results of 125 councils out of 181 were declared as of now with the Labour party bagging 62 of them, an increase of 27.
The party gained 546 councillors across Britain.
On the other hand, the Conservative party won power in 31 councils, which amounted to a loss of 12 councils, and overall the party lost 326 councillors.
Prime Minister Cameron said he was sorry his party councillors who had lost against "a difficult national backdrop", and added: "These are difficult times and there aren`t easy answers".
"What we have to do is take the difficult decisions to deal with the debt, deficit and broken economy that we`ve inherited and we will go on making those decisions and we`ve got to do the right thing for our country," he said.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said he was determined to show that his party could "deliver Britain the change it needs" adding: "We are a party winning back people`s trust, regaining ground, but there is more work to do".
Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg said he was "really sad" that many of his party councillors had lost their seats but added: "I am determined that we will continue to play our role in rescuing, repairing and reforming the British economy".