by BBC LDRS team and Filtonvoice
The Conservatives have lost their overall majority on South Gloucestershire Council as opposition parties made big gains at their expense at the local elections.
Tories have been the ruling group for eight years but suffered several major losses to place the authority into No Overall Control.
They ended up with 23 councillors – down by 10 from the last elections in 2019 – with 36 per cent of the vote, two points above the Lib Dems who won 20 seats, an increase of three, from a 34 per cent vote share, while Labour went up from 11 to 17 members and received 24 per cent of the vote, with one independent.
In Filton, Labour’s Adam Monk retained his place on the council while fellow Labour candidate and town councillor Alex Doyle picked up the second seat.
Green candidate Dan Boardman came third.
All three groups fell well short of the required 31 seats for an overall majority, and a coalition between Labour and the Lib Dems now seems the likeliest outcome, although no official agreement has yet been made and talks are now expected.
The biggest shock on a night of surprises and change was the Conservatives losing cabinet member Steve Reade.
He fell just 13 votes short of fellow cabinet member Cllr Ben Stokes, elected in second place in Boyd Valley behind Lib Dem Marilyn Palmer who overturned the party’s 18 per cent deficit from four years ago.
With Labour enjoying a healthy lead in opinion polls, national trends were reflected in many of the 28 wards’ results with massive swings in their favour.
The party gained seats from the Tories in Bradley Stoke South, Charlton & Cribbs, Emersons Green, Filton, Hanham and Stoke Gifford.
As well as Boyd Valley, the Lib Dems ousted Conservatives in Frenchay & Downend, Severn Vale and Pilning & Severn Beach where they had finished fifth and last in 2019
The Tories, by contrast, managed to gain just one seat held by another party, taking one of the two available in Chipping Sodbury & Cotswold Edge from the Lib Dems.
Independent candidate Isobel Walker took Patchway Coniston from Labour.
The turnout was 34 per cent – up by two per cent from the last local elections.