IT WAS a tense night in Fareham as candidates awaited the results of the Borough Council elections.

The authority has been rocked by a series of scandals and resignations this year from both the leading Conservatives and the opposition Liberal Democrats.

Daily Echo:

UKIP was the first party to make significant gains on the night, doubling their amount of councillors from one, to two.

Carolyn Heneghan snatched the Stubbington seat from the Tories, in the ward with the highest turnout of voters at 46 per cent.

The Conservatives had started the evening hoping to retain control of the council, but senior figures in the party said they were unsure if they would be able to retain all their seats.

However, the party emerged from the election with a net gain of one seat, further increasing their control over the council.

The Conservatives took advantage of Independent councillor Nick Gregory no longer standing in Fareham West and picked up the ward.

The Tories were also unhurt by David Whittingham, who was ejected from the party earlier this year for making a racist remark and has remained an Independent ward member for Fareham North West.

Mr Whittingham had his seat taken from him by new Conservative councillor Fred Birkett.

The Conservative's strategy of distancing themselves from controversial members appears to have paid off as they also managed to hold onto their Fareham Town seat at Hampshire County Council.

George Ringrow had previously held the seat as a Conservative, but after pleading guilty to benefit fraud he resigned the post.

At the elections on Thursday night the Conservative candidate Christopher Matthews was voted to take up the seat.

The Liberal Democrats also managed to avoid any potential fallout after Paul Whittle resigned his Fareham East post 17 months after taking a job in Saudi Arabia.

The Lib Dems managed to hold onto all three of their seats up for contention.

The turnout this year was slightly lower than the last local election in 2014, with just 35 per cent of the electorate voting, compared to almost 39 per cent.

Fareham Borough Council is now made up of 24 Conservatives, four Liberal Democrats, two UKIP members and one independent.