Elections 07 Photo slideshow: Tories tighten their grip on city

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Conservatives in Peterborough tightened their grip on the city council in last night's local election.

Conservatives in Peterborough tightened their grip on the city council in last night's local election.The party won six seats and lost one to Labour as it boosted its total representation from 35 seats to 40 and increase its control of Peterborough City Council. See the full results for Peterborough

The remaining 17 seats are held by six Independents, five minority parties and four Liberal Democrats, with Labour trailing in with two.

Meanwhile, three people were arrested on suspicion of electoral offences near a polling station in the city.

The men – two aged 26 and one 22 year old – were due to be questioned by police after being stopped in Searjeant Street, Peterborough. at 9.25pm.

All three, from Peterborough, were arrested on suspicion of handling stolen property, thought to be polling cards, an electoral offence.

Back at the count in the town hall there was high drama with the defeat of several veteran councillors.

Labour stalwart Ray Palmer lost his Stanground Central seat to Conservative Marco Cereste; Labour's Colin Caborn lost to Conservative Sue Day in Paston; Labour's Angus Ellis lost in Bretton North ward to Conservative Darren Morley; Independent Bob Burke lost to Conservative Paula Thacker in Werrington South; Conservative Raja Akhtar lost to Labour's Zahid Hussain in Central ward and Liberal Democrat John Crane lost his Orton Waterbille seat to Conservative Sue Allen.

Turnout at the polling stations ranged from 26 per cent in Orton Longueville to 55 per cent in the Central ward.There were 64 candidates contesting 19 seats – one-third of the city council's total of 57 seats.

In England and Wales, Labour suffered several heavy election losses and saw a swing to the SNP in Scotland.But the full picture is still to emerge, with many councils in England yet to begin counting.

A projected national share of the vote showed the Conservatives are on 41, Labour on 27, both one point up.

The Lib Dems appear to be losing ground overall despite some high profile wins.

The Tories said their 41 per cent share of the vote in England puts them on course for victory at the next general election.