The Liberal Democrats in Eastbourne were this morning savouring the sweet taste of success from the count at the East Sussex County Council elections.
The Lib Dems won six of the nine seats in Eastbourne, with the Conservatives snapping up the other three - leaving the division of seats exactly the same as before the polls.
The overall turnout across Eastbourne was just 33.58% with only 24,736 out of a possible 73,672 turning out to vote.
Lib Dem leader on Eastbourne Borough Council, David Tutt, who regained his St Anthony’s seat, was delighted with the results, which were declared shortly after 2am this morning at the Town Hall.
He said: “I would like to thank the workers from every political party for the work they have put in for this campaign. It has been a long hard slog, I would like to congratulate you all.
“As far as the result is concerned, I am absolutely delighted. The Liberal Democrats have been involved in possibly the toughest election for a long time, but coming out of the election with two thirds of the seats - six out of nine - we are going to be a real force on the county council.”
Although they failed to win a seat, there was encouragement for UKIP which came second in all but two wards in Eastbourne.
Bob Lacey, who was standing in Devonshire ward, said: “It has been a wonderful evening for UKIP. We have doubled our vote in Eastbourne.”
Conseervatives picked up wins in Ratton (Colin Belsey), Sovereign (David Elkin) and Meads (Barry Taylor).
Hastings also declared in an overnight count with Labour gaining three seats from the Conservatives, so overall Labour had won seven seats, the Liberal Democratcs six and the Conservatives four, with the rest of the 49 East Sussex County Council seats being declared later today. The Conservatives held power at the Lewes-based council with 29 seats, compared to the Liberal Democrats’ 13, four for Labour and with three independents.