Local and EU elections 2014: With the voting over, the Coalition tries to shift focus to growth

David Cameron and Nick Clegg hope that improving economic news will bolster their position

DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR

Senior Conservative and Liberal Democrats will seek to steady party nerves and demonstrate the Government has not run out of steam in the coming weeks, following what are expected to be poor results for the Coalition partners in the council and European elections.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg will mount a fresh attempt to turn the spotlight on the improving health of the economy and will set out the Coalition programme for the next 11 months in the Queen’s Speech.

The Conservatives will also pour all their efforts into preventing Ukip from capturing the previously loyal Tory seat of Newark in next month’s parliamentary by-election.

Both Coalition parties are prepared for the loss of hundreds of council seats, mainly to Labour challengers.

The Tories are expected to lose control of their last metropolitan borough in the north of England, Trafford in Greater Manchester, as well as two or more London councils.

The Liberal Democrats, who have suffered successive council losses since entering into the Coalition, are also braced for grim news.

Ukip and Labour are vying to top the vote in the Euro-election results, which will be announced on Sunday. Final polling suggested Nigel Farage’s party has shrugged off a series of embarrassing revelations about candidates to “win” the elections.

The Conservatives could lose up to nine of its MEPs, while the Liberal Democrats face the humiliation of limping in fifth behind the Green Party and losing almost all of their 12 MEPs.

Nick Clegg with Sheffield councillor David Baker Nick Clegg with Sheffield councillor David Baker (Getty Images) Both parties are resigned to a handful of dissidents demanding a dramatic change of direction under a new leader. Mr Clegg will be under particular pressure, but allies insisted there would be no credible threat to his position.

For the Conservatives, the immediate challenge will be to halt Ukip’s momentum in Newark, where the Tories are defending a majority of more than 16,000. A succession of visits is planned by ministers.

Ed Miliband and his wife, Justine Thornton, after voting in Leeds Ed Miliband and his wife, Justine Thornton, after voting in Leeds (Getty Images) Party sources insisted they had a strong enough organisation in Newark to see off the Ukip threat on 5 June. They also predicted that a weak showing by Labour in the Nottinghamshire constituency would demonstrate Ed Miliband’s limited appeal to Middle England.

In the Queen’s Speech on 4 June, the Coalition will detail its plans for the final parliamentary session before next year’s general election. Tory and Liberal Democrat ministers suspended campaign rivalries at this week’s Cabinet meeting to agree its contents.

Read more: Labour and Tories left reeling
Labour takes Cameron's 'favourite' council
Farage: 'The fox is in the henhouse'
Ukip: London 'too educated and cultured' to vote for us
Local election 2014: Results in full

One minister said: “It will be a pretty busy legislative programme. It will show we are not running out of ideas.”

The package is expected to include measures to give constituents the power to “recall” errant MPs, tackle police corruption, make it easier to drill for shale gas, press ahead with the HS2 rail scheme and introduce plain packaging for cigarettes.

One source said: “We want to get the focus back on to the economy and demonstrate that growth is under way.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test