Labour has taken control of Oxford City Council after a hugely successful election night.

Although the party suffered losses at town halls up and down the country, there was no sign of a bloody nose in Oxford where the party strengthened its position, gaining four seats.

Oxford is still effectively in limbo, with no one group in overall control, but Labour - by virtue of the fact the group has the largest number of councillors - will form a minority administration, taking control for the first time since 2006.

It was an agonising one seat short of a majority.

For the Liberal Democrats, the night marked a miserable end to a controversial two-year stint in charge of the authority, during which four councillors defected from their ranks and dissent grew over their handling of waste collection rounds.

The evening was no better for the Tories, who started with two councillors but finished with none.

Conservative group leader Paul Sargent he lost his Carfax seat to Lib Dem newcomer Stephen Brown, while his colleague Tia MacGregor lost her Quarry and Risinghurst seat to Labour's Laurence Baxter.

The Tories have now failed to return a single city councillor since Barbara Burgess was elected in Marston in 2000.

In a bombshell result, Independent Working Class Association councillor Lee Cole lost his Blackbird Leys seat to Labour's Val Smith - the wife of Oxford East MP Andrew Smith - by a massive 230 votes.

Fellow IWCA councillor Claire Kent was booted out of her Churchill seat by Labour's Mark Lygo.

IWCA leader Stuart Craft won his Northfield Brook seat - but refused to shake Labour rival Richard Stevens' hand after the result was declared.

Lib Dem Caroline van Zyl lost to Labour's Beverley Hazzell in Marston, but the group did have something to shout about in Holywell, where Nathan Pyle took the seat from the Greens.

Defeat in Cowley Marsh was particularly bitter for the Lib Dems.

Saj Malik, who quit the group to join Labour, defeated Tony Brett in his own back yard - and then held up a placard proclaiming "Fib Dems - Losing Here".

Turnout was 32.6 per cent across the city.

Before last night's elections the city council was made up of 19 Labour councillors; 15 Liberal Democrats; eight Greens; four Independent Working Class Association and two Conservative.

But after all votes were counted and verified at the Town Hall in the small hours, the new council looked like this: * Labour - 23 * Liberal Democrats - 16 * Greens - 7 * Independent Working Class Association - 2 * Conservatives - 0 Labour leader Bob Price said: "We are going to be the administration.

"We are delighted with the results - it shows the two years the Lib Dems have run the city have been a disaster and we really need to build back the city and make it a good place to live.

"We will be putting more money into recycling, play areas and leisure centres.

"It is interesting to know the Tories are still without a seat in the city."