Labour had the opportunity to lead Portsmouth into a new era of independence after retaining overall control of the city in local elections.
The party took 21 of the 39 council seats available, with the St Thomas ward still to be decided in a day’s time.
The majority would give Labour a comfortable cushion to govern the city when, as a unitary council, it would take over Portsmouth schools and social services from Hampshire County Council.
Labour leader Leo Madden was overjoyed with his party’s victory.
He said: ‘We have won a massive vote of confidence from the people of Portsmouth and this will be an excellent springboard for our two parliamentary candidates in the general election.’