Hampshire Tories lost overall control of the county council for the first time ever after a crushing by-election defeat at Fareham.
Alliance supporters were jubilant after snatching Fareham South East from the Conservatives with a sound 637 majority.
Now in the wake of the defeat, the Tories hold 49 of the 102 county seats. The Alliance and Labour jointly have 51 and there are two independents.
But County Alliance leader Chris Curtis was sounding a cautious note on which way power will swing in Winchester.
‘I am not saying we will work with one party or another. A good council should work together in the interests of all parties and people,’ he said.
‘We are not in control but we still have the second largest number of seats on the council – now no one party can run the council on its own.’
Winning Alliance candidate, Jim Murray, said: ‘I am delighted we won, especially having done so with such a large majority. It shows, all things considered, that we are on the right course.’