Page last updated at 17:28 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 18:28 UK

Red rose county turns Tory blue

Lancashire sign
Tories had made Lancashire their number one target

The Conservatives have surged to power at Lancashire County Council for the first time in almost 30 years.

Labour's poor showing in the local elections continued as it lost overall control of the authority.

The party lost 30 seats, including that of Labour leader Hazel Harding in Rossendale North, with the Tories gaining 22 seats.

It is the first time since 1981 that the Labour Party has lost control of the county.

Before the election Labour held 43 seats, with the Conservatives on 33, the Lib Dems on four, Greens on one and independents three.

The vote left Labour with 16, the Lib Dems on 10, up seven, and the Tories gaining overall control with 51. They needed to reach 43 seats for a working majority.

Our policies are all about giving the county council back to the people of Lancashire
Geoff Driver, Lancashire Conservative leader

The BNP won one seat, the Green Party two and independents won four.

Turnout across the county was about 38%, based on the results so far declared.

Geoff Driver, leader of the Conservative Group, will formally take over as county council leader at the authority's Annual Meeting on 25 June.

He said: "I am delighted that the Conservatives have taken control after 28 years.

"Our policies are all about giving the county council back to the people of Lancashire.

"The county council is here for one purpose and one purpose only - and that is to serve the people of Lancashire."

'Not out'

Ms Harding, Lancashire's Labour leader, who had been a county councillor for the past 24 years, tried to cling on to something positive.

She said: "I have been a supporter of something even longer than the Labour Party - Burnley Football Club.

"Some years ago Burnley was in danger of going out of the football league and hung on by the tips of our fingers on the last day of the season.

"We have crawled and clawed our way back and we are going into the Premiership this season.

"It is very similar for Labour - we are down but we are not out."

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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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