LABOUR has kept a tight grip on Leeds City Council after sweeping to a string of victories in the local elections.
The party held all its seats bar one, losing Farnley and Wortley but GAINING Headingley from the Lib Dems, to ensure red remains the ruling colour in the council chamber.
UKIP, who were widely tipped for success, failed to secure any seats. However their 27 candidates gave the main parties a scare, coming in second in several wards and securing more than 15 per cent of the total vote.
A third of Leeds council’s 99 seats were contested this year.
Today’s result means Labour still has 63 seats in the council chamber, and a massive majority.
The Conservatives held all the seats they were fighting, giving them 18 councillors in total.
The Lib Dems lost Headingley to Labour’s 24-year old rising star Jonathan Pryor, but held on strongly to Rothwell, Weetwood and Otley and Yeadon.
There were also stunning victories for two more Labour young guns - 21-year old Alice Smart in Armley, and 28-year-old Stuart McKenna in Garforth, who now joins mum Andrea and stepdad James in the council chamber.
The big winners of the day were the Green Party, whose candidate Terry Wilford snatched victory in Farnley and Wortley from UKIP, and left Labour’s sitting councillor John Hardy in third.
The Greens now control the ward, and have three seats on Leeds City Council.
The overall voter turnout in Leeds was 34.49 per cent.
There had been some tense moments for several long-serving candidates.
Labour’s deputy council leader Peter Gruen held off a strong challenge from UKIP, as did Mayor-elect David Congreve in Beeston and Holbeck.
For full details and reaction from the candidates, see tomorrow’s YEP.