Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Lib Dems secure Eastleigh and Portsmouth councils

The Liberal Democrats have held on to their strongholds of Portsmouth and Eastleigh in the council elections but lost seats elsewhere in Hampshire.

In Southampton the Conservatives remain in power but lost two seats to Labour, which also gained two Lib Dem seats.

Labour gained a seat in Winchester which remains hung, with the Lib Dems and Tories both on 27 seats.

The Tories held on to both New Forest and East Hampshire, where they gained a total of 16 seats from the Lib Dems.

The Conservatives also held on to Basingstoke and Deane, Hart, Rushmoor and Havant councils.

The Lib Dems lost two seats in Rushmoor to the Tories and a seat in Havant and Basingstoke and Deane.

Test Valley remains under Conservative control. The Tories picked up three seats, two at the expense of the Lib Dems.

'Hold our nerve'

Royston Smith, leader of Southampton City Council, was re-elected with a 668 majority and his Conservative party has 26 seats out of a possible 48.

"At the moment we have enough to run the council and we will continue to do that to the best of our ability," he said.

Eastleigh MP and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said he was "very pleased" with the result in his constituency, in which the party secured 38 council seats out of 44.

Despite national loses he backed Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as party leader.

He said: "I absolutely think we have made the right decision to go into government, to take these tough decisions and we always knew that it was going to be a time when inevitably we would become unpopular and we need to hold our nerve.

"As the economy improves and as the jobs come back, we will get electoral reward and Nick will be shown to be the leader who has taken the right decisions."

Portsmouth Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said despite losing a seat to the Conservatives, it was the "best" result the party had ever had.

"We had a huge, huge mountain to climb this year and we have done it," he added.

Elsewhere in Hampshire a by-election was being held on Hampshire County Council for the Lee ward in Gosport, with Conservative candidate Graham Burgess being elected.

There were no council elections in Fareham, Gosport or on the Isle of Wight.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites