UKIP TAKE A SEAT BUT THE TORIES HANG ON TO DORSET

Counting the votes in Dorset Photo: ITV West Country

By Duncan Sleightholme, Dorset correspondent

UKIP have a seat on Dorset County Council after taking around 20 percent of the vote. But it made little difference to the overall result - the Conservatives remain in control of the council.

Of the 45 seats, the Conservatives now have 27, the Liberal Democrats 12, Labour 5 and UKIP 1 seat. Labour made strong gains in the seats in Weymouth and on Portland including Portland Tophill where 9 candidates stood for election. The party thinks its efforts to re-connect with voters in the south of England have helped.

"At the last elections in 2009, we had no councillors elected and tonight we have won 5 seats in Weymouth and Portland which is obviously a really good result for us and a really good result for Weymouth and Portland."RACHEL ROGERS, Labour Party

The Conservatives, however, believe votes for UKIP may have swung results in Labour's favour.

"The seats we lost, UKIP intervened and instead of getting someone who is a Eurosceptic in the County Council, they've ended up getting additional Labour candidates who of course are very keen to keep giving away our independence to Europe."IAN BRUCE, Conservative candidate.

UKIP claimed one of the two seats in Ferndown in a tough fight with the Conservatives. Four candidates for the two parties shared almost 90 percent of the votes. Across the county, UKIP increased its share of the vote from around 7 percent in 2009 to almost 20 percent in 2013.

The overall balance of power, however, is little changed. The Liberal Democrats and Conservatives are weakened slightly, but the Tories remain in firm control.