WINCHESTER Conservatives have held onto the city council but the result was uncertain almost to the end of the count.
The council was amongst the last to finish its count this afternoon, leaving the Tories on 25 councillors and the Liberal Democrats on 20.
Labour lost their two seats leaving them with no representation on the council.
Before this election there were 33 Tories, 22 Lib Dems and two Labour but boundary changes saw a reduction in the number of wards to just 16 and the first all-out election since 2002.
Council leader Stephen Godfrey, speaking to the Daily Echo moments after a celebratory photo on the steps of the Guildhall, said he had thought the result might have been closer after early returns on Friday.
He said: “People are recognising we are focussing on things that are important to residents, the local issues like parking and keeping areas tidy.”
The Lib Dems will be disappointed to have got so close, at one stage in the afternoon thinking they might possibly even snatch control.
The challenge of the Winchester Independents petered out with the best performer being Kezia Hoffman who polled 661 votes, to finish seven out of ten candidates in St Barnabas ward.