Labour gained two seats from Liberal Democrats in the latest council by-elections with just 15 weeks at most before Gordon Brown's date with destiny.
However there was also good news for Lib Dems after victory in a west country Tory stronghold.
Labour's Gerry Harper easily captured a Hyde Park and Woodhouse seat at Leeds.
But it was a tighter finish for party colleague Richard Young who won by just seven votes at Pendre, Bridgend County Borough, South Wales, reversing a Liberal Democrat lead of exactly the same margin.
The result leaves Labour with exactly half the council's seats.
Lib Dems' Tony Barber triumphed over Tories at Ivybridge Filham, South Hams District, Devon.
They might have taken another Conservative seat if they had not failed to field a candidate at Birstall Watermead, Charnwood District, Leicestershire in a ward where the other councillor is a Liberal Democrat.
Bridgend County Borough - Pendre: Lab 200, Lib Dem 193, Ind 68, C 60, Plaid Cymru 25. (May 2008 - Lib Dem 278, Lab 271). Lab gain from Lib Dem. Swing 1.2 per cent Lib Dem to Lab.
Charnwood Borough - Birstall Watermead: C 674, Lab 452, BNP 288. (May 2007 - Two seats Lib Dem 1142, C 928, Lib Dem 815, C 777). C hold.
Leeds City - Hyde Park and Woodhouse: Lab 1054, Lib Dem 671, C 188, Ind 150, Green 140. (May 2008 - Lib Dem 1206, Lab 1142, Green 299, C 219, BNP 102). Lab gain from Lib Dem. Swing 9.7 per cent Lib Dem to Lab.
Liverpool City - Fazakerley: Lab 1525, Lib Dem 807, BNP 234, Green 84. (May 2008 - Lab 1811, Lib Dem 608, BNP 440, C 154, Liberal Party 68, Green 64). Lab hold. Swing 5.6 per cent Lab to Lib Dem.
South Hams District - Ivybridge Filham: Lib Dem 379, C 356, Lab 121. (May 2007 - Two seats C 790, 722, Lib Dem 379). Lib Dem gain from C. Swing 17.9 per cent C to Lib Dem.
Wychavon District - Evesham South: C 358, Lib Dem 176, Ukip 150. (May 2007 - Two seats C 676, 591, Ukip 334, Lib Dem 312). C hold. Swing 0.7 per cent Lib Dem to C.Reuse content