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While it was jubilation for Lib Dems in Gosport as they seized six extra seats, slashing the Tory's overall council control to a meagre margin of one.

"We have lost some really good councillors as a result of this vote and they'll be sorely missed".

The Tories retained control of Wandsworth Council, last won by Labour in 1974, after winning more than half the seats, as well as Westminster City Council.

Liberal democrats also increased their majority by one in Portsmouth to 16, cutting the Conservatives overall majority to just three.

Labour had 34 seats in Slough, the Conservatives nine and Independent one.

Britain's main political parties all made gains in local council elections, benefiting from the collapse of the U.K. Independence Party, in results that saw Jeremy Corbyn's Labour continue to struggle outside London.

The Lib Dems have gained control of Richmond in London, a heavily Remain voting area, from the Tories.

Cllr Thorpe said he felt the key reason that wasn't reflected in Labour's results was the low turnout - 34.8 per cent - an issue he feels has blighted local politics.

Leading pollster Sir John Curtice, professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde, said there was little for Labour to celebrate in the results.

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There is now the question as to who will lead Trafford Council.

Ben Bradshaw, the backbench Labour MP told the BBC the party "should be doing much, much better than we have been doing nationally" if it was on course to win the next general election.

The only change of power is in Basildon, where the Conservatives have taken control of the borough council.

Speaking prior to the results, and defending his position on recent development proposals, Anstee said: "The Turn Moss proposals, I think, enhance a hugely valued but in many respects massively under-utilised green space in Trafford".

Nevertheless the Tories have a 24-seat majority so an enormous swing can be required for the authority to alter arms.

The Labour group will now need to choose a new council leader.

The first results show the UKIP vote going to the Tories with them making gains while Labour have made losses outside of London.

Perhaps the most stunning victory of the night was that of the Garforth and Swillington Independents, which was originally made up of two councillors who defected from Labour a year ago amid a flurry of claims and counterclaims. The Tories also won back Salford in Greater Manchester.


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