Alexandra Wood The Liberal Democrats claimed a surprise victory in Hull last night after a bitterly contested by-election re-run on the orders of a judge.
They won by a clear margin in a vote which followed a High Court battle over the result of the local elections last May.
The dispute began after the veteran Independent councillor for the city's Derringham Ward, John Considine, was narrowly defeated, and demanded a rerun of the poll.
He had been ousted by the UK Independence Party, which took its first council seat in the country, with John Cornforth winning by seven votes.
But last night, the politcal tables were turned when Michael Rouse-Deane claimed an impressive victory for the Liberal Democrats – who had finished fourth last May – with 927 votes to Mr Considine's 679.
Labour's Alan Gardiner came in third, with UKIP fourth. The British National Party were last, with Paul Buckley gaining just 116 votes.
Mr Rouse-Deane said the result showed the Liberal Democrats were the only alternative to Labour in Hull. He said: "It has been clear today that the people of Hull voted overwhelmingly for change."
Last night's vote does not change the political balance of Hull Council, with Labour remaining in power with a majority of five.