Two of three main political parties have elected new leaders in the last six months and the third might soon follow. The annual local elections present a crucial test of where they stand now. All over England, 176 councils go to the polls.
From Newcastle to Bristol, Labour are struggling to hold back Liberal Democrat advances in the big cities, while David Cameron's rejuvenated Conservatives look for affirmation at the ballot box that they're back in the business of winning power.
James Naughtie and Carolyn Quinn present analysis of the results and what they mean, both for the councils concerned, and for British politics as a whole.
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