By Alex Stevenson
A Green by-election victory has stripped the Conservatives of overall control of Brighton and Hove city council.
Alexandra Phillips, from Hove, won the Goldsmid by-election to raise Greens to joint second place with Labour.
The Tories, who took 29.2 per cent of the Goldsmid votes compared to the Greens' 38.5 per cent, have lost their majority on the council as a result. They still have nearly twice as many seats as the other main parties do, however.
Ms Phillips said the result was a "ringing endorsement of Green policies". It means Greens will be "reviewing the options" as a shake-up on the council looms.
The news will also come as a boost to the Green party's national leader, Caroline Lucas, who will seek to become the party's first MP in the Brighton Pavilion constituency at the next election.
"This is a spectacular win," she said.
"It signals an unstoppable surge to elect the first Green MP at Westminster, whenever Gordon decides to go to the country. With this result, we're on the threshold of taking Green politics to the heart of Westminster."
The result was not the only gain in local politics across Britain. Pete Reeve of the UK Independence party took both the district and county council seats in the Ramsey by-election.
His double-win came in spite of devoting time to run the Norwich North campaign for Glenn Tingle.
"It's not a victory for me. It's a victory for Ukip and the Ukip team," Mr Reeve said.
"It's a victory for Ramsey, a victory for people on the streets and I hope that we will be able to work together in the future."