Labour holds on but Tories upbeat after Blackpool Council election results
Labour has secured a third term running Blackpool Council - but lost seats to the Conservatives and the Independents as their majority was reduced.
The Tories gained three seats to give them 15 councillors in total, but it was not enough to take control from Labour who won 23 seats, down from 26 ahead of polling day.
There was success for independent candidates with ousted Conservatives Maxine and Peter Callow retaining Norbreck, and former Labour representatives Gary and Debbie Coleman also being re-elected.
Turnout was relatively low at just 29 per cent and there were recounts for Waterloo and Marton wards, with Debbie Coleman squeezing ahead by just one vote in Marton.
The Liberal Democrats and Green Party failed to win a single seat but did attract hundreds of votes throughout the town as many residents used the ballot box to express their disillusionment with the two main parties.
Labour group leader Coun Simon Blackburn, who also had to stave off a challenge from Blackpool FC supporter Andy Higgins in Brunswick, said: "We're looking forward to our third successive term in office, although disappointed to lose some very good councillors due to a national swing against two-party politics."
He added the group wanted to continue with its regeneration plans for the town, and would meet its election pledge to give residents free entry to some of Blackpool's visitor attractions.
Coun Blackburn said: "We don't have the details yet as to how that will work but we will be making an announcement in due course."
Conservative group leader Coun Tony Williams said he felt the tide was turning against Labour after the Tories made some gains, and added his party would look to work with the independent councillors.
He said: "We would have liked to have taken Blackpool, but we have won seats from Labour and have bucked the national trend.
"The Norbreck result did not surprise me as Maxine and Peter have held that ward for 20 years and done a good job.
"The choice to deselect them was made by the association, not the councillors.
"We hope to work very closely with all the independents elected and we'll be having discussions with them."
The Callows were controversially de-selected by the Blackpool North Conservative Association, but stood as non-aligned independents.
Coun Maxine Callow said: "The people of Norbreck have supported us and we are looking forward to representing them for the next four years."
Gary and Debbie Coleman, who split from Labour after Gary's father Ian was stripped of the mayoralty in 2018, won seats in Brunswick and Marton.
Coun Gary Coleman said: "We know people are disillusioned with the two main parties and we'd like to thank everyone who supported us.
"I am disappointed Andy Higgins didn't get elected with me as he and his team worked incredibly hard."
Blackpool's oldest councillor is also looking forward to another four years in the town hall.
Lily Henderson, 92, held onto Highfield for the Conservatives.
She said: "A lot of people say, shouldn't you just be sitting in a chair - but I say, no, I still have a lot to offer."
Result: Labour 23 ; Conservative 15; Independents 4 (2 non-aligned); Liberal Democrats 0; Green Party 0.
Blackpool Council full election results 2019
Labour (Lab), Con (Conservative), Lib Dem (Liberal Democrat), Green (Green Party), Ind (Independent)
Anchorsholme; Jon Bamborough (Lab) 530, Alexander Bettison (Lib Dem) 175, Paul Galley (Con) 1278, Kendrick Vilinskis-Fowler (Lab) 376, Tony Williams (Con) 1225.
Bispham: Steven Bate (Ind) 440, Don Clapham (Con) 868, Robert Dewick (Lab) 518, Ian Treasure (Lab) 493, Paul Wilshaw (Con) 778.
Bloomfield: Graham Cain (Lab) 646, Jim Hobson (Lab) 604, Roger Jones (Con) 257, Karen Staff (Con) 291.
Brunswick: Maureen Beck (Green) 128, Simon Blackburn (Lab) 476, Shirley Cantrell (Con) 216, Gary Coleman (Ind) 453, Mandy Cunliffe (Con) 200, Andy Higgins (Ind) 387, Portia Owen (Lab) 440.
Claremont: Sue Close (Lib Dem) 156, Lucy Green (Con) 279, Michaela Jackson (Con) 227, Garry Richardson (Green) 189, Ivan Taylor (Lab) 667, Lynn Williams (Lab) 619.
Clifton: Paula Burdess (Lab) 644, Moira Graham (Con) 480, Adrian Hutton (Lab) 653, Robert Ronson (Con) 492.
Greenlands: Christopher Ryan (Lab) 702, Rick Scott (Con) 757, Bernard Wing (Con) 718, Christine Wright (Lab) 675.
Hawes Side: Neal Brookes (Lab) 604, Kim Critchley (Lab) 606, Dean Eden (Green) 246, Glenn Priestley (Con) 496, Lesley Wright (Con) 467.
Highfield: Lily Henderson (Con) 760, Peter Hunter (Lab) 793, Gary Pennington (Con) 713, Nicola Ryan (Lab) 628.
Ingthorpe: Peter Allen-Rogers (Con) 715, Amy Cross (Lab) 901, Mick Curwen (Con) 647, Jo Farrell (Lab) 828.
Layton: Kathryn Benson (Lab) 776, Mark Courtney-Massey (Con) 483, Martin Mitchell (Lab) 664, Thelma Stables (Con) 482, Lee Taylor-Jack (Lib Dem) 172.
Marton: Debbie Coleman (Ind) 544, Judith Costello (Lab) 507, Jim Elmes (Lab) 543, Jack Robinson (Con) 476, Andrew Stansfield (Con) 584.
Norbreck: Maxine Callow (no alignment) 742, Peter Callow (no alignment) 717, Anne-Marie Clarke (Con) 614, Roy Haskett (Con) 585, Simon Jowitt (Lib Dem) 200, James Sorah (Lab) 350, Laura White (Lab) 279.
Park: Gillian Campbell (Lab) 694, Paul Carter (Con) 489, Maria Kirkland (Lab) 653, Antony Manning (Con) 421.
Squires Gate: Christian Cox (Con) 817, Julie Daniels (Green) 222, Sharon Hoyle (Lab) 443, Alistair Humphreys (Lab) 477, Gerard Walsh (Con) 669.
Stanley: Graham Baker (Con) 1019, Shaun Brookes (Lab) 447, Bill Greene (Lib Dem) 201, Jason Roberts (Con) 973, Carl Webb (Lab) 396.
Talbot: Alistair Blair (Green) 215, Callum Catterall (Con) 463, Charlie Docherty (Con) 490, Jane Hugo (Lab) 561, Mark Smith (Lab) 569.
Tyldesley: Samantha Bell (Con) 410, David Collett (Lab) 602, Aishley Docherty (Con) 369, Gina Eastwood (Green) 256, Allan Matthews (Lab) 608.
Victoria: Fred Jackson (Lab) 627, Monique Mannion (Con) 353, David Owen (Lab) 559, Sue Ridyard (Con) 324.
Warbreck: Jake Adams (Lab) 406, Kevan Benfold (Lib Dem) 243, Desmond Harvey (Lab) 376, Danny Scott (Con) 708 Michele Scott (Con) 688.
Waterloo: Becky Daniels (Green) 184, David O'Hara (Lab) 457, Heather O'Hara (Lab) 443, Derek Robertson (Con) 506, David Shackleton (Ind) 279, Spencer Shackleton (Ind) 223, Susan Whadcock (Con) 454.