When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Find by date
Other ways to search
Also look for
Labour and Lib Dems retain control of council
Members of both parties were delighted at retaining control of the council in Basingstoke's biggest local election for years.
Because of boundary changes, every one of the 57 seats on the council came up for re-election plus three new seats. Normally, only a third of the seats on the council come up for re-election each year.
The Lib-Dems won 17 seats and Labour 15 on the new, 60-seat council. The Conservatives won 25 seats, the same number as on the old council.
Both sitting independent councillors were re-elected plus one more independent councillor - 43-year-old engineer Ian Tilbury, who won a seat in his home village of Overton where he is already a parish councillor.
As the final result was announced at 3.45am on Friday, Lib-Dems and Labour leaders both pledged to continue with the coalition that has run the borough for the past seven years.
In the run-up to the election, the Conservatives - who still have more councillors than any other single party - said they were confident of taking control.
The Conservative party leader, Iain Duncan Smith, and party chairman, David Davis, both visited Basingstoke to boost their party's chances, but it was not enough.
Triumphant council leader Brian Gurden (Lib Dem) said: "We are very pleased with the result. I feel quite vindicated."
Cllr Gurden added: "We entered this election anticipating holding all our seats. In fact we have lost one and gained three - a net gain of two. That is better than we had hoped. I think we performed well.
"I smile for the Conservatives who were prophesising gains of up to nine - but they have ended up with the same number of seats they started with. In reality, with the extra seats it means they have lost a bit of ground.
"The joint administration is still in business. We have ended up with a composite total of 32 seats out of 60 which gives us an overall majority of four. For the past few years we have worked with a majority of three. The modernisation of Basingstoke will go on.
"The Tories have lost their one-off opportunity to get back into power. I am really disappointed with the way the Tories chose to fight this election, with negative campaigning and not looking at the real issues. I think that turned the electorate off.
"I didn't like some of the personal, vindictive and gratuitous comments that were made about myself and other people."
But Conservative group leader John Leek refuted suggestions that his party had fought a negative campaign.
He said: "We addressed the issues of our electorate and tackled issues like juvenile crime in our manifesto."
He added: "The Lib Dems gained seats we did not expect to lose. We lost Eastrop to the Lib Dems and Tadley North - that's what we have to learn from."
Cllr Gurden said that, because his party now holds more seats, he would remain leader of the council instead of sharing it for half a year each with Labour as they did when both parties had 15 seats each.
He thought it unlikely that any of the Cabinet members would change - Labour and the Lib-Dems each hold four of the eight Cabinet posts.
Rob Donnelly, Labour deputy leader of the council, said: "We will continue to operate the joint administration. That is what Basingstoke wants.
"We have run the joint administration successfully for seven years and Basingstoke has voted for that."
The turn-out for the local elections, at 34.3 per cent, was well up on the last election in 2000 when only 29 per cent of the electorate voted.