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Last Updated: Friday, 11 June, 2004, 07:31 GMT 08:31 UK
Euro sceptic takes crucial seat
Frank Leeming
Frank Leeming is a pensioner
The political future of Derby City Council is in the balance after a UK Independence party candidate won a seat in the Boulton ward.

Depending who Frank Leeming sides with, the council could be controlled by either Labour or the Liberal Democrat / Tory Alliance.

The Conservative Party have maintained their control of Amber Valley.

In Derby, Labour lost a seat to the Liberal Democrats but won a seat from the Conservatives.

Position considered

The only seat to change hands in Amber Valley, Heanor East, went to Labour from the Conservatives.

Mr Leeming won a seat previously held by independent Ron Allen, who died in March.

If he sides with Labour, it means they could gain power at the Mackworth by-election expected next month because of Councillor Lonny Wilsoncroft's recent death.

But he said no decision had been made on which party he will side with: "I will have to discuss with my UKIP colleagues, my committee, my team and the people who have voted for me.

"Whatever their decision is, that will be my decision."

Full boxes

There was a last-minute rush of ballot forms before the count at Derby in the local and European elections.

Despite Royal Mail warning people not to post their ballot forms on Thursday, 1,000 were collected from post boxes.

In Amber Valley, one set of ballot papers were found in a field, and some pillar boxes became too full to accept any more postal ballot forms.

Overall the postal voting experiment was a success with the average turn out in the East Midlands being 41% - a 10% increase on last year.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Councillor Frank Leeming
The man in the spotlight talks to the BBC's John Hess




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