Page last updated at 10:42 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 11:42 UK

Lib Dems take control of Bristol

Barbara Janke
Barbara Janke will lead the first Lib Dem majority in Bristol

The Liberal Democrats have for the first time won overall control of Bristol City Council.

The party gained the four seats it needed to take its total number of councillors to 36, while Labour lost eight of the 10 seats it was defending.

Council leader Barbara Janke said she would not "gloat" over Labour losses.

The Conservatives took four wards to become the second largest party on the council. Meanwhile the Green Party could not add to its single seat.

Residents were electing 23 of the city's 70 councillors and went to the polls on Thursday.

The council had been hung for six years and dominated by the Labour Party for most of the past 30 years.

I'm absolutely delighted, really thrilled to bits that we've won
Nick Clegg

In Bristol on Friday the leader of the Liberal Democrat Party Nick Clegg said: "Bristol has now turned a page on old discredited politics dominated by the Labour Party like so many other great cities in this country.

"The Liberal Democrats now run Liverpool, Hull, Sheffield and now Bristol.

"It's part of a complete transformation of city politics in this country from Labour to the Liberal Democrats and that is, in my view, a sign of things to come.

"The key thing is in Bristol as in Sheffield, Newcastle, Hull and Liverpool, people have been voting in droves for an authentic voice of public service in a way that we only know how.

"I'm absolutely delighted, really thrilled to bits that we've won."

Labour, who retained Lawrence Hill ward by just nine votes and also held on to St George West, now has 16 councillors to the Tories' 17.

With the majority rule we feel we can give confidence to the city and the policies the electorate want
Barbara Janke, Lib Dem Leader of Bristol City Council

Bristol South's Labour MP, Dawn Primarolo, said: "Tonight is clearly disappointing, lots of good Labour councillors have lost their seats.

"It's undeniable that the voters are angry and it focused around the issues at Westminster and MPs expenses.

"What we see is people protesting, they look to protest against party in government in power.

"I have to acknowledge people are very definitely sending a clear message to us about getting on with the job."

Meanwhile a triumphant Ms Janke said: "Tonight was absolutely fantastic. Wonderful news. We were cautiously optimistic.

"The electorate has given us a clear mandate for what they want out of the Liberal Democrats. They've shown us they want leadership.

"Now with the majority rule we feel we can give confidence to the city and the policies the electorate want."

Turnout in most of the contested wards was higher than the 33.9% average for last year's elections.

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MEP Seats

  Votes MEPs
Party % +/- % Total +/-
EPP 33.4 -1.4 264 -18
Socialists 23.2 -4.1 183 -26
Liberal 11.0 +1.6 84 +5
Green 7.4 +1.3 50 +9
Left 5.3 -0.6 34 -2
UEN 3.4 +1.6 28 +2
Ind/Dem 2.7 -1.8 21 -15
No Group 13.6 +3.4 72 +3.4
0 of 27 countries declared.

UK Total MEP Seats

Party Votes MEPs
% +/- % Total +/-
CON 27.7 1.0 *26 1
UKIP 16.5 0.3 13 1
LAB 15.7 -6.9 13 -5
LD 13.7 -1.2 11 1
GRN 8.6 2.4 2 0
BNP 6.2 1.3 2 2
SNP 2.1 0.7 2 0
PC 0.8 -0.1 1 0
OTH 8.5 2.4 0 0
SF 1 0
DUP 1 0
72 of 72 seats declared. Vote share figures exclude Northern Ireland as it has a separate electoral system to the rest of the UK
* Includes UCUNF MEP elected in Northern Ireland
BBC political editor Nick Robinson Nick Robinson
Follow the BBC Political Editor's assessment of developments
Harriet Harman on the big screen on the Breakfast set Harman defends 'dismal' result

David Cameron Cameron 'delighted' with results

Nick Clegg Clegg: Results 'a good platform'

Nick Griffin Jubilant BNP hails 'great victory'

Nigel Farage UKIP: A hell of an achievement


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