Tories were boosted by a rare council by-election gain from Labour in the first contests of the new year.
Former councillor Ian Lewis won at Leasowe and Moreton East, Wirral Borough, Merseyside, in the ward where he was narrowly defeated last May.
In a second poll for that council, Labour was pushed into third place at Heswall by Ukip, whose vote share rose 12.2%.
There was some cheer for Labour with a big vote share switch to the party at Brixton Hill, Lambeth, south London, in a by-election caused by the resignation of former council leader Steve Reed who was elected MP for Croydon North last year.
The Green Party took second place from Liberal Democrats.
Analysis of all four results this week suggest a projected 1.6% nationwide Labour lead over Conservatives.
Fenland District - Hill: C 319, Lab 110, Ind 105. (May 2011 - Two seats C 797, 677, Lab 366, Lib Dem 202). C hold. Swing 5.3% Lab to C.
Lambeth London Borough - Brixton Hill: Lab 1593, Green 344, Lib Dem 274, C 164, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 72, Ukip 63, Socialist Party of Great Britain 34. (May 2010 - Three seats Lab 2805, 2699, 2648, Lib Dem 2100, 1873, 1560, Green 1108, 1023, C 873, Green 850, C 768, 688). Lab hold. Swing 10.9% Green to Lab.
Wirral Borough - Heswall: C 1254, Ukip 460, Lab 289, Green 110, Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts 19. (May 2012 - C 2766, Lab 785, Ukip 413, Green 261, Lib Dem 186). C hold. Swing 8.0% C to Ukip.
Wirral Borough - Leasowe and Moreton East: C 1620, Lab 1355, Ukip 148, Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts 31, Lib Dem 28, Green 28. (May 2012 - Lab 2094, C 1776, Ukip 144, Green 89). C gain from Lab. Swing 8.0% Lab to C.