OPPOSITION parties are hoping to score vital seats on the largely Conservative-run Fareham Borough Council.
The count is under way at the Ferneham Hall in Fareham for 16 seats on the authority.
The current Lib Dem opposition faces a challenge from Ukip, which fielded candidates in four wards in the hope of a councillor joining their sole current councillor Chris Wood, giving the party more power to oppose items.
Cllr Wood, who was elected in the Stubbington ward in 2014, said they were optimistic about success tonight.
He said: ‘It has been a busy campaign. We have put a lot of effort in. We have been knocking on doors and posting leaflets. If we don’t get two councillors elected then I will be disappointed.’
Ken Cast, Ukip’s candidate for Hill Head, said it had been a challenge to stand against long-standing Tory councillor Kay Mandry, who has moved from Stubbington.
He said: ‘It will be a challenge but it will be interesting to see how it goes.’
Lib Dem Katrina Trott, who is hoping for re-election in Fareham East, said she was ‘excited’ to see the result and she praised fellow Lib Dem candidate Maryam Brady, who is also standing in the ward as a by-election was triggered by the departure of the former Lib Dem leader Paul Whittle.
She said: ‘I am excited and I am looking forward to seeing a good result. It has been an interesting campaign. I am very pleased to have Maryam standing with me. She joined the party in May and volunteered to stand as a candidate which takes guts and commitment and a sense of duty.’
The votes are currently being counted and results are expected to be announced at 3am.