Labour has gained two Essex County Councils seats in Harlow and narrowly failed to take a third from the Conservatives.
Labour took Harlow North and Harlow West but the Conservatives retained Harlow South East by just 21 votes.
UKIP scored 25-30% of the vote in the three divisions.
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.