The Tories lost their overall majority on Harrogate Borough Council, North Yorkshire, in the year's first by-election - despite increasing their vote.
Liberal Democrat Greta Knight recaptured a Woodfield seat in a contest caused by the death of a councillor who had been elected as a Lib Dem but later defected to the Conservatives.
Labour, which narrowly missed taking second place in the previous election in 2007, came last behind the BNP, whose vote share also declined.
Turnout was just under 27 per cent as voters battled though the snow to the polling stations.
The latest Harrogate council line-up is C 27, Lib Dem 21, Ind 6.
No by-elections are reported for next week.
Harrogate Borough - Woodfield: Lib Dem 688, C 246, BNP 92, Lab 73. (May 2007 - Lib Dem 910, C 231, Lab 220, BNP 194). Lib Dem gain from C. Swing 1.8 per cent Lib Dem to C.Reuse content