Lancashire County Council Elections 2013

Labour leader Ed Miliband giving a speech in Chorley explaining his "One Nation vision" last month.
Labour leader Ed Miliband giving a speech in Chorley explaining his "One Nation vision" last month. Photo: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Labour has failed to retake overall control of Lancashire County Council.

The party held power in the county for 28 years until the Conservatives triumphed in the last elections in 2009.

Labour held the majority of the 84 seats but fell four short of the 43 it required so the county is now under no overall control.

Party leader Ed Miliband had targeted Lancashire as one of the key battlefields in the country.

The Conservatives polled second with 35 seats, while the Liberal Democrats won six seats, Independents three and the Green Party one.

The UK Independence Party (Ukip) made gains in the various electoral divisions but not enough to win a seat.

The British National Party (BNP) lost the one seat it held when it lost Padiham & Burnley West to Labour as its candidate polled the fewest votes of the four on the ballot.

Overall turnout for the county was 31.27%.

Asked if she was disappointed Labour did not take overall control, Jennifer Mein, leader of the Labour group, said: "I am not sure I expected to gain control. I am absolutely delighted with what we have got.

"We have more than doubled the number of councillors now. We have gone from 17 to 39. I think it is a massive result, it's a wonderful result, and that is because we have been working very, very hard talking to people, finding out what it is they want us to do and acting on it."

Tory council leader Geoff Driver said: "It's a big disappointment we have lost control. We thought we had done a good job over the last four years in terms of what we have achieved but we live in a democracy and the people of Lancashire have spoken.

"I am disappointed we have lost but I suspect the Labour Party are just as disappointed that they have not managed to take control."

Mr Driver conceded that support for Ukip across the county affected the Conservative vote.

"It has had a significant impact on certain key seats that we would have hoped to hold, and there is no doubt the influence of Ukip candidates has affected that."

Mr Driver added he wished to continue as leader of the council.

"There are 84 councillors and they will decide who the leader is," he said.