Labour has followed up last year’s historic performance by taking another five seats from the Tories at Worthing Borough Council.
The Conservatives went into yesterday’s poll defending all 11 seats being contested.
When Rebecca Cooper won a Marine by-election in August 2017 she became the first Labour councillor in Worthing for more than 40 years.
Her party then won four more seats at last May’s election.
Today Labour took another five seats from the Conservatives, with the Lib Dems also taking Tarring. The Tories held the other five seats.
Labour took Broadwater, Heene, Selden, Gaisford and Central.
Meanwhile the Tories held Offington, Marine, Castle, Goring and Salvington.
Labour now has ten councillors compared to 22 for the Conservatives, three Lib Dems, one UKIP and one independent.
Labour group leader Rebecca Cooper said: “It’s absolutely amazing as we’ve gone from one in 2017 to ten today. We’ve doubled our numbers in a year and gone from five to ten, which I think in this particular climate with all the national issues that are going on speaks volumes about where Worthing are putting their trust and the work that Labour are doing in the community here and the fact that Worthing people really want to see change and they want to see their town and borough moving forward.
“I want to thank everybody that went to vote and putting your trust in us. We will do our absolute best for you in the coming year.”
Daniel Humphreys, Conservative leader of the council, was re-elected in Offington.
He said: “Unfortunately some very hard-working councillors have lost their seats today based rather more on national issues like the inability of Parliament so far to resolve Brexit, not based on what those hard-working councillors have been doing in their areas.
“That stings a little bit but otherwise a lot to be proud of and a lot of signs that people here in Worthing do recognise what the current council is doing for the town.”
Lib Dems’ Martin McCabe said he was ‘chuffed to bits’ to be elected for Tarring ward.
“Our message was a really simple one,” he said, adding: “Putting people before party politics in Tarring, working hard all year round and that’s what the Liberal Democrats are about. It is a great day to be a Lib Dem.”
Bob Smytherman, Lib Dem group leader on the council, said: “It is an absolute delight to be able to take the third seat back in Tarring. We lost a seat sadly four years ago and Martin has worked so tirelessly for the last year.
“Even though there were seats we didn’t win, we have increased our vote and actually people now realise that actually we are the only credible alternative to both the Conservatives and Labour Party in Worthing, which clearly, nationally, voters deserted yesterday at the polls.”
More reaction to follow.
BROADWATER LABOUR GAIN: Labour has already gained the first seat from the Tories in Broadwater, with Dawn Smith elected with 962 votes compared to Conservative incumbent Nigel Morgan’s 671, Richard Battson for the Greens with 266 and John Apsey for the Lib Dems with 242.
HEENE LABOUR GAIN: Labour has taken Heene as well, with Helen Silman elected with 866 votes. Conservative Gavin Poole had 758, Green Joseph Pearce 277, Lib Dem Christine Allen 163 and independent Joshy High 147
OFFINGTON TORY HOLD: Conservative leader Daniel Humphreys has been re-elected in Offington with 1,260 votes, compared to 474 for Lib Dem Emma Norton, Labour’s Jon Roser had 342 and UKIP’s John Strange had 291.
TARRING LIB DEM GAIN: The Lib Dems have taken Tarring, with Martin McCabe elected with 932 votes. Rosey Whorlow for Labour had 492 votes, Conservative Richard Nowak had 381, UKIP’s Toby Brothers 236, and Green’s Dominic Rhoden 164.
MARINE TORY HOLD: Tim Willis elected for Conservatives with 1,140 votes, Labour’s Samuel Baeza 907, Green Karen North 267, UKIP’s Sue Jelliss 234 and Lib Dem Antony Brown 232.
SELDEN LABOUR GAIN: Carl Walker 1,098, Conservative Alex Harman 696, Madeleine Weaver 287, Yvonne Leonard Lib Dem 204.
CASTLE TORY HOLD: Conservative Lionel Harman 693 votes, Sam Theodoridi Labour 369, Matt Hoyland Lib Dem 362, Stuart Field UKIP 311 and Julian Warrick Green 225.
GORING TORY HOLD: Conservatives Roy Barraclough 1,295 votes, Richard Bater UKIP 368, Labour’s Stephanie Powell 347, David Aherne Green 333 and Cyril Cannings Lib Dems 296.
GAISFORD LABOUR GAIN: Labour’s Henna Chowdhury 1,213 votes, Bryan Turner Conservatives 951, Caroline Griffiths Lib Dems 418.
SALVINGTON TORY HOLD: Conservative Noel Atkins 1,027 votes, UKIP’s Michael Jelliss 431, Labour’s Emma Taylor 316, Keith Sunderland Lib Dem 284, Green Melanie Ling 245.
CENTRAL LABOUR GAIN: Sally Smith Labour 1,131 votes, Diane Guest Conservative 627, Jo Paul Green 517, Christine Brown Lib Dem 243.