Liberal Democrat hopes of winning Manchester City Council were left in ruins when they lost four seats.
Labour gained Fallowfield, Gorton, Longsight and Whalley Range to keep overall control of the city.
The Lib Dems needed to take 10 seats to win a majority, which created the first close contest in the city for 35 years.
In Bury, Labour lost four seats and overall control of the council, but elsewhere in Gtr Manchester they held Oldham, Salford, Tameside and Wigan.
The Community Action Party, which made big gains at the last election, lost three seats in Wigan.
The Tories failed to win their first seat on Manchester Council for 10 years but had the consolation of keeping hold of Trafford.
And the Lib Dems Manchester disappointment was eased when the party retained Stockport.
Despite Labour's loss of four seats in Rochdale there is still no party with an overall majority.
However the Liberal Democrat party is the largest single party with 30 seats.
In Bolton, the Lib Dems lost four seats making Labour the largest party but without an overall majority.
Warrington has a hung authority after the ruling Labour group lost five seats to the Lib Dems.
The Lib Dems became the largest single party on the unitary authority with 26 councillors, one more than Labour.