The Conservatives have lost 1,000 councillors in the local elections and are expected to surpass even the worst predictions.
The Liberal Democrats and Greens have made significant gains, with Labour also losing heavily.
Early indications suggested it could be a tough day for the Tories as they lost stronghold seats in Essex.
But as the day progressed the news went from bad to worse.
At the latest count the Tories are down 1,013 seats from 2015.
It chimes with worst-case scenario predictions published earlier in the week that Tory councillors have given up canvassing.
One source said: “Why would I get screamed and shouted at about something I can’t change, she’s no idea what we are facing”.
More to follow