We are now starting to get an idea of what will emerge in those councils left under "no overall control" after the elections on May 5. In Winchester the Conservatives have formed a minority administration taking over from the Lib Dems. They won with the casting vote of the Mayor after the two independent councillors and one Labour councillor abstained. Nail biting stuff.
But in Wirral a Conservative-led coalition with the Lib Dems has been replaced by a minority Labour administration. The coalition has done a fantastic job could have continued but the Lib Dems abstained allowing Labour to take over. In Reading there will also be a minority Labour administration.The Conservatives can still be proud of what they achieved in such a short time – for instance more funding for the voluntary sector, funding cut for trade unions.
In both of these councils the Conservatives had only been leading them since last year without an overall majority and so were vulnerable to even a modest Labour revival. In Wirral the Conservatives lost no seats, in Reading they only lost one. But Labour gains from the Lib Dems shifted the balance of forces.
Taunton Deane, where the Conservatives gained a couple of seats, remains a Conservative minority administration. As does East Lindsey.As does South Gloucestershire. As does Eden – where the Conservatives gained four seats.
In North Devon a Lib Dem lead coalition has been formed. This was previously a Conservative council but the independents gained seven seats.