THE Conservatives tightened their control of the city council edging ahead of their main rivals, the Liberal Democrats.

When the last result was announced this lunchtime to the Tories were on 28 seats, up one, whilst the Lib Dems has slipped two to 25, after also losing a seat to Labour.

The Tories were on the verge of taking overall control, with the crucial 29th seat, but their candidate in The Alresfords, Lisa Griffiths, was just unable to oust Margot Power, falling short by 79 votes.

UKIP had a respectable showing, finishing second in three wards and last only once. They polled more than 600 votes in Denmead.

Labour now has three seats, with Clive Gosling winning in St John and All Saints ward that covers the Highcliffe and Winnall estates.

Council leader Rob Humby, who replaced the retiring Keith Wood, said: “I’m delighted. The whole team have worked hard. We are now the largest group on the council.”

It was fifth time lucky for Helen Osborne, a mother of one in her 30s, who won the St Barnabas seat from the Lib Dems. She said: “It’s so nice to be finally here.”