Nick Clegg has insisted he will not consider resigning after a dismal showing in local elections, arguing that the Liberal Democrats are “still winning” in their strongholds.
The Deputy Prime Minister conceded that his party had suffered at the hands of a Ukip surge, blaming a “very strong anti-politics feeling” among the public.
But he added: “Actually I think in the areas where we have MPs where we have good organisation on the ground... we are actually doing well.”
Voters have turned to Ukip out of a “deep sense of discontent” with the way the country is being run, Ed Miliband said.
Despite modest Labour gains so far, the party leader insisted he can “persuade” Ukip backers to support him at the general election next year.
Mr Miliband dismissed criticism from backbenchers over the Labour leadership’s election strategy, declaring they had “run a good campaign”.
He told Sky News: “I think in some parts of the country we’ve had discontent building up for decades about the way the country has been run and about the way our economy works and people feeling that the country just doesn’t work for them.
“And so what you are seeing in some parts of the country is people turning to Ukip as an expression of that discontent and that desire for change.”
Labour MP Graham Stringer earlier criticised the party’s election campaign as “unforgivably unprofessional”.
“I think we ran a good campaign but I think to understand what happened last night you have got to go back not for a few weeks but for years to the way people feel this country works,” Mr Miliband insisted.
He added: “I believe that we can persuade those people that Labour can offer answers to them and to the challenges they face in their own lives and that’s what I’m determined to do over the coming year.”
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