THE Conservative leader of Oxfordshire County Council was among those who lost his seat in an election results day where the party saw many majorities overturned.

The council has been left with no overall majority control as a result of the election.

The Conservative group remains the largest on the council, but it now has only 22 seats, far short of the all out majority of 32 needed to claim power.

Following them were the Liberal Democrats with 21 seats, the Labour Party with 15, the Greens with three and the Henley Residents Group with one. One seat went to independent candidate, Les Sibley, of Bicester West.

It remains to be seen what kind of governing group will now be formed.

Ian Hudspeth, the leader of the council and councillor for Woodstock, was among the Tory councillors who lost their seats.

Mr Hudspeth had served as leader of the county council since 2012, having been elected in 2005.

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He said: “It is very disappointing obviously, but that is democracy for you and that is what the ballot box has said.”

He thanked his Conservative colleagues and wished good luck to those who had won in their council divisions again.

It was all-change in many of the 63 electoral divisions across the county from the first result that came in.

In that result, Labour’s Mark Cherry lost his Banbury Ruscote seat to Conservative Jayne Strangwood, as candidates gathered for the count in Banbury’s Spiceball Leisure Centre.

The county council confirmed there had been an ‘administrative error’ in the result, and it is understood Labour now plans to make a legal challenge..

If successful, it could reduce the Conservative lead over the Lib Dems, leaving them level with 21 seats apiece on the county council.

Labour meanwhile gained Chipping Norton and Witney North and East from the Conservatives.

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Both of these seats had Tory councillors who had resigned from the party in the run up to the elections to sit as independents, Hilary Hibbert-Biles and Suzanne Bartington, neither of whom stood again.

The Greens also gained two extra seats from the Conservatives in Kidlington South and in Berinsfield and Garsington, as well as holding the Wallingford seat they won at a by-election in 2019.

But the Liberal Democrats were the party that shook up the political make-up of the council most.

As well as claiming the Woodstock seat from Mr Hudspeth, they claimed seats in other former Conservative strongholds in Eynsham, Thame and Chinnor, and Otmoor, while holding onto marginal seats like Sutton Courtenay and Marcham.

Oxford Lib Dem MP, Layla Moran, who took part in canvassing, said her party had experienced ‘sensational results’.

The election count took place at four different venues across Oxfordshire, whereas it would usually take place in just one.

Venues included Banbury’s Spiceball Leisure Centre, Oxford Town Hall, the White Horse Leisure Centre in Abingdon, and the Windrush Leisure Centre in Witney.

In the primary count centre at the Spiceball Leisure Centre, the mood among candidates was quiet and tense as they awaited results, but there was also civil and often friendly discussion across party lines.