Labour gained in the latest council by-elections, defying the overall voting trend.
Former councillor Sheila Carlson won back the Court ward seat at Surrey's Epsom Ewell Borough that she lost to Liberal Democrats in 2007.
But Lib Dems' Marion Olive gained from Tories at Honiton St Michaels, East Devon District, where her party failed to fight in the main contests two years ago.
But it was Conservatives' turn to triumph when William Keen took a Residents Association seat in a second Epsom and Ewell poll at Ruxley.
Conservatives held on at Rushall-Shelfield, Walsall Borough, but there was a big swing to Labour.
The BNP's vote share slipped in the only seat it fought this week at Greasley Giltbrook and Newthorpe, Broxtowe Borough, Nottinghamshire.
Analysis of 14 comparable results this month suggests a projected 12.5 per cent nationwide Tory lead over Labour.
A calculation based on nine wards fought both times by all three major parties gives a line-up of: C 47.7 per cent, Lab 33.7 per cent, Lib Dem 11.6 per cent.
The low Liberal Democrat figure is mainly caused by the large number of wards contested this month where the party was already weak and vulnerable to squeezing.
Broxtowe Borough - Greasley Giltbrook and Newthorpe: C 1125, Lab 600, BNP 301, Lib Dem 232, Ukip 31. (May 2007 Three seats - C 1232, 1136, 1129, Lab 624, 474, 448, BNP 396, Lib Dem 280, 243, 205). C hold. Swing 2.5% C to Lab.
East Devon District - Honiton St Michaels: Lib Dem 636, C 609. (May 2007 - Three seats C 1101, 1072, 929, Lab 476). Lib Dem gain from C.
Epsom and Ewell Borough - Court: Lab 377, Lib Dem 343, C 281, Residents 143. (May 2007 - Three seats Lib Dem 589, 527, 524, Lab 455, 418, 391, C 251, 234, 216, Residents 181, 126). Lab gain from Lib Dem. Swing 6.1% Lib Dem to Lab,
Epsom and Ewell Borough - Ruxley: C 564, Residents 363, Lab 73, Lib Dem 60, Ukip 40. (May 2007 - Three seats Residents 605, 521, C 518, Residents 503, C 480, 479, Lab 125, 125, 108, Lib Dem 104, 92, 90). C gain from Residents. Swing 7.4% Lab to C.
Walsall Borough - Rushall-Shelfield: C 809, Lab 411, Lib Dem 178, Ukip 165, Green 61. (May 2008 - C 1480, Lab 477, Lib Dem 302, Green 167). C hold. Swing 8.4% C to Lab.Reuse content