Three independent candidates triumphed when the first results from elections for Police and Crime Commissioners were announced.
Ian Johnston won in Gwent, where he served as a police officer for 33 years, and Winston Roddick, a barrister, was elected in North Wales. Both areas had been expected to return a Labour commissioner.
However, the Tories also suffered an unwelcome surprise in Dorset, where Martyn Underhill, a former detective who was second in charge during the Sarah Payne murder investigation, was elected.
Labour won contests in five large mainly urban areas. They are Merseyside, where former minister Jane Kennedy won; Northumbria, won by another ex-minister Vera Baird; South Yorkshire, Cleveland and Durham. The party also triumphed in Bedfordshire.
There was an impressive victory in Leicestershire for the Tories, whose candidate was Air Chief Marshal Sir Clive Loader. The party also won the elections in North Yorkshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Wiltshire.