Labour has dominated the polls in former coal and steel communities
The Liberal Democrats have taken control of Sheffield City Council after gaining four seats from Labour.
The council was under no overall control before the local election. Labour's reign over Sheffield ended last year when it lost three seats.
The BNP has made its first showing in the Labour heartland of South Yorkshire by snatching two seats in Rotherham.
But Labour remains in control of Rotherham's council, as well as those in Barnsley and Doncaster.
In Sheffield the Lib Dems now have 45 seats, up from 39 before the polls while Labour suffered the loss of five councillors and dropped from 41 seats to 36.
The Conservatives lost their only councillor in the chamber while the Greens picked up a seat to give them three members.
Paul Scriven, the new leader of the council for the Liberal Democrats, said he was "absolutely delighted" his party had taken control.
He said: "The people of Sheffield have put their trust and faith in the Liberal Democrats. It is something we will take seriously and deliver on the vote for change."
Jan Wilson, outgoing leader of the council for the Labour party, said she was disappointed with the result.
"Clearly people voted on national issues rather than local issues," she said.
Labour has dominated South Yorkshire - once at the heart of Britain's steel and coal industries - for decades.
But despite maintaining its authority, the party suffered seat losses in all four councils.
In Rotherham, Labour's power was weakened when the BNP's John Gamble gained an extra 61 votes to knock out the town's mayor Allan Jackson in Brinsworth and Catcliffe. The BNP also won a seat in Maltby.
Labour now has 50 of the total 63 seats in Rotherham, the BNP has two, Conservatives 10 and independents have one.
In Barnsley, Labour lost two seats to The Barnsley Independent Group but gained a seat from the Lib Dems. The Conservatives also gained a seat.
The council is now made up of Labour 32, independents 24, Conservatives six and Lib Dems one.
Labour continues to have the largest share on Doncaster council, which remains in no overall control.
Independent candidates gained two seats and Labour lost two.
The council's formation now stands at Labour 27, independents 15, Lib Dems 12 and Conservatives nine.