UKIP won its first seats on Hampshire County Council as the party showed strongly in the local elections.
Chris Wood won Fareham Crofton for the party and Ray Finch won in the Bedhampton and Leigh Park division as the party picked up 10 seats across the county,
Mr Wood, who is 23 and comes from Stubbington, said he had campaigned on local issues. ‘I’m looking forward to getting stuck in’ he said.
Mr Finch said: ‘This means we are a force at Hampshire County Council.
‘We are looking forward to doing what the electors want rather than what the party tells us.’
UKIP picked up seats across the county, with wins in Totton North, Bishopstoke and Fair Oak, Andover North, Andover South, Farnborough West, South Waterside (New Forest), Eastleigh West, and Eastleigh East.
Labour celebrated succes in Gosport as they took Bridgemary from the Tories. Party veteran Shaun Cully ousted sitting councillor Mike Geddes in the ward.
In Bishop’s Waltham, the Tories took the seat from the Lib Dems while UKIP was third but registered over 1,000 votes.
All 75 divisions are being contested in the first countywide poll since 2009.
The political breakdown of the council is now as follows (previous number of councillors in brackets): Conservatives 45 (51); Liberal Democrats 17 (24); Ukip 10 (0); Labour 4 (1); Community Campaign (Hart) 1 (1). The Green Party lost its only seat.
Hampshire is one of just six councils due to report their results overnight with the majority of counts, including that in West Sussex, taking place on Friday.
· There will be full coverage in The News of Friday May 3.
UKIP’s strong showing in the county council polls being counted overnight was also reflected in the Parliamentary by-election in South Shields.
Nigel Farage’s party secured 24 per cent of the vote as Labour’s Emma Lewell-Buck held the seat with a reduced majority of 6,505.
The result was disastrous for the Liberal Democrats, who came seventh and lost their deposit, and also bad for the Conservatives who picked up 11.5% of the vote.
The South Shields contest was triggered by former foreign secretary David Miliband’s decision to quit politics and head to the United States to lead an international charity.