Lib Dems' landslide gain - and loss
Liberal Democrats celebrated a landslide council by-election gain from Tories but crashed to disastrous defeat by Labour in a second contest.
Their candidate Nick Gregory scored a shock victory at Fareham Borough's West ward on a huge swing since May's main polls which were on the same day as the general election.
But this much-needed boost to party morale was blunted by Labour's triumph at Bewsey and Whitecross, Warrington Borough, where Jeff Richards gained the seat with more than 70% of the vote.
This result, unlike that at Fareham, had been expected after Labour comfortably won another ward seat in May.
Lib Dems will be concerned that their one remaining councillor there is up for election next year, when Labour needs just one gain to take overall control of the council.
This is the latest of a run of poor Liberal Democrat results in urban areas of the North West, where a new year parliamentary election looms at Oldham East and Saddleworth.
Unlike the other two major parties, Tories can find no crumbs of comfort.
Bewsey and Whitecross, where they took barely 7%, is in marginal Warrington South constituency, which they gained in the general election.
Fareham Borough - Fareham West: Lib Dem 933, C 687, Lab 124, Ukip 93, Green 35. (May 2010 - C 2526, Lib Dem 858, Lab 423, Ukip 283). Lib Dem gain from C. Swing 26.9% C to Lib Dem.
Warrington Borough - Bewsey and Whitecross: Lab 1032, Lib Dem 221, C 118, Green 47, Ind 33. (May 2010 - Lab 2132, Lib Dem 1276, C 612). Lab gain from Lib Dem. Swing 17.3% Lib Dem to Lab.
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...