The Conservatives have lost control of two English local authorities as the UK Independence Party (Ukip) made stunning electoral gains.

Nigel Farage's party made inroads becoming the second largest party in Lincolnshire as the Conservatives lost control of the authority.

Ukip also claimed second place behind Labour in the South Shields parliamentary by-election, with the two coalition parties suffering a drubbing.

They won 16 seats in Lincolnshire, 10 in Hampshire, nine in Essex, three in Gloucestershire, three in Somerset and one in Dorset.

The South Shields contest, triggered by David Miliband's decision to quit as an MP, was won by Labour's Emma Lewell-Buck with a reduced majority of 6,505.

Ukip's Richard Elvin secured 24% of the vote, but it was a bad result for the Conservatives who finished third and a humiliation for the Liberal Democrats.

Nick Clegg's party lost its deposit after securing just 352 votes, finishing in seventh position behind an independent, an independent socialist and the BNP.

"If this is any sign at all, it will make a few MPs feel a bit less comfortable in their parliamentary seats."

The Conservatives retained control in Dorset, Essex, Hampshire and - narrowly - Somerset, where they lost five seats and the Liberal Democrats lost four.

But as well as in Lincolnshire, they were ousted from overall control in Gloucestershire, where there were four gains for Labour and three for Ukip. Labour's Norma Redfearn ousted incumbent Tory Linda Arkley in the battle to be mayor of North Tyneside.