The former Labour MP for Harwich Ivan Henderson has made up for the loss of his parliamentary seat by winning the County Council seat of the same name.
Mr Henderson who was the MP from 1997 until 2007 ousted Conservative councillor Ricky Callender.
Regardless of the result in Thursday's election, Northamptonshire will have fewer county councils because of boundary changes.
The Tories have been sent a warning in their traditional Essex heartland, losing nine county council seats to a bullish UKIP.
Suffolk County Council has been Conservative-controlled since 2005. On Thursday there were elections for 75 councillors.