Labour has lost its overall majority on Cheshire West and Chester Council by just one seat following a dramatic end to today’s election count.
After all CWAC seats were up for grabs, Labour ended the day with 35 councillors – one short of the 36 needed for overall control.
The Conservatives won 28 seats, while four independent candidates were elected in total, the Liberal Democrats made a return to CWAC with two councillors elected and the Green Party picked up its first seat in the borough.
Mike joins Labour pair Gina Lewis (1,178 votes) and Tom Blackmore (1,250) as the ward’s representatives.
Lib Dem candidate Malcolm Gaskill beat Stephen Burns, Labour and former CWAC deputy chairman, by just 11 votes to represent Winsford Swanlow.
Independent candidate Phil Herbert (1,048 votes) pipped Conservative rival Gaynor Sinar (825) for the second Hartford and Greenbank seat – with sitting Conservative member Patricia Parkes winning 980 votes.
Gillian Edwards, independent candidate for Weaver and Cuddington, has also been elected onto CWAC with 2,212 votes.
She will represent the ward with Charles Fifield (2,027) and Paul Williams (2,062) – but Adam Wordsworth was unsuccessful (1,605), meaning the Tories have lost one seat in the ward.
The newly-split wards of Rudheath and Witton have gone their separate ways at the ballot box – with Helen Treeby (557) winning for the Conservatives in Rudheath, and Labour’s Sam Naylor winning Witton.
The Conservatives secured the first victory in mid Cheshire, winning all three Marbury seats.
Lynn Gibbon (1,800 votes), Norman Wright (1,779) and Phil Marshall (1,597) will represent the ward, which includes Antrobus and Barnton.
The Conservatives have also kept hold of Shakerley, with Mark Stocks (700) pipping former Rudheath and Witton councillor Tony Lawrenson, Labour (225).
Labour’s Nathan Pardoe (425) is the new member for Winsford Wharton, while his party colleague Andrew Cooper (481) will represent Northwich Leftwich.
CWAC is set to be hotly contested – with Labour currently holding a majority of three over the Conservatives.
But a number of independent, Green, Liberal Democrat and UKIP candidates are keen to shake things up in the council chamber at Wyvern House.
And this vote is the first since CWAC’s ward boundary review – with all but three wards having changed, and five fewer councillors following the vote.
Samantha Dixon, Labour group leader, and Lynn Riley, Conservative group leader, have both secured their seats on the council.
The Green Party has secured its first CWAC member, with Paul Bowers winning in Helsby.
Meanwhile, Labour has secured 13 seats on Winsford Town Council – while the Lib Dems have two, losing previous members Bev Theron and Charlie Parkinson.
Mike Kennedy (578 votes) and Dorothy Jump (473) votes have been elected in the Dene ward, over family Lib Dem duo Matt Gaskill-Jones (286) and Eleanor May Gaskill-Jones (304).
Joanne Moorcroft (457) and Julie Savage (378) have pipped Lib Dem pair Paul Carter (274) and James Lowe (205) in the Gravel ward.
Don Beckett (647), Stella Mellor (622) and Tom Blackmore (730) won for Labour in Verdin, beating Lib Dems Bob Barton (365) and Ken Isherwood (271), and Saundra Middleton, Conservative (414).
In Wharton, Lyndsay Barwell (380), David Edwards (362) and Nathan Pardoe (402) won for Labour, pipping Lib Dems Jo Conchie (259), David Cottam (276) and Bev Theron (343).
But in Swanlow ward Mal Gaskill (389) and Ailsa Gaskill-Jones (411) have secured seats for the Lib Dems, beating Tory Shaun Hopkins (259) and Labour’s Andy Kendrick (307) and Ian Molton (243).
In Witton, the one Northwich Town Council ward being contested, Labour swept the board with Sam Naylor (529), Andy Stott (366), Alison Gerrard (350), Tony Lawrenson (422) and Shelley Eastwood (436) all elected.
By Stephen Topping – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).