Labour escaped a widely predicted bloodbath in the Oxford City Council elections, but lost its flimsy grip of the authority with the Liberal Democrats now the largest party.

The Labour group, which went into last night's count at the Town Hall with 21 councillors, ended the evening with 17 - a loss of four.

Although the council remains hung, with no one party in overall control, the main winners were the Liberal Democrats who saw their number rise from 17 to 19 and are now the largest group.

The Greens have eight councillors while the Independent Working Class Association has four.

The Conservatives, once again, were left with nothing.

With the authority temporarily in limbo, the question hanging over the Town Hall today is which parties will now enter into a power-sharing marriage of convenience?

However, a major stumbling block appears to be an apparent reluctance for the Liberal Democrats and Labour to work together.

See Friday's Oxford Mail for all the results and reaction