Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting GAZETTE NEWS to 80360, or email
Colchester Council election results as they come in
This live event has finished
Predictably enough, the big three parties all said they had a good day. Labour gained a seat and saw vote increase, the Conservatives also saw votes in key seats increase while the Lib Dems bucked national trends by successfully defending nine out of ten seats. The Lib Dem, Labour and independent administration running Colchester Council is likely to continue for a seventh year. Meanwhile, UKIP say the gap is narrowing after scoring a string of second places. That's it for tonight - a roundup story will go online shortly.
It's all over and after all the drama, only one seat changed hands - Labour gained Berechurch from the Lib Dems.
Former council leader Robert Davidson also returns as Conservative councillor for Pyefleet.
Several comfortable holds - Julie Young keeps St Andrew's for Greenstead, Roger Buston returns to Colchester Council as Conservative for Lexden, and Ray Gamble retains his St John's seat for the Lib Dems.
Fordham & Stour is a straightforward hold for Conservative Christopher Arnold.
Christ Church and Old Heath are both narrow holds for the Lib Dems.
More turnout figures in. It ranges from St Andrew's - 27% to Pyefleet - 45%
Conservative John Elliott only hangs onto Tiptree by 85 votes from Ukip opponent. It is also close in Stanway, which newcomer Jessica Scott-Boutell holds for the Lib Dems against Conservative challenge.
Tiptree, Castle and Stanway coming up
And Lyn Barton holds Shrub End by more than 250 votes. Once again, rumours of Lib Dem demise are greatly exaggerated.
Newcomer Dominic Graham holds Mile End for Lib Dems. Tories second, UKIP third.
Shrub End and Mile End coming up - both Lib Dem seats targeted by allcomers.
They're coming in quickly now. Independent Gerard Oxford holds Highwoods with a massive majority, while Lib Dem Mike Hogg holds St Anne's.
Theresa Higgins holds New Town for the Lib Dems. UKIP come second again.
Labour GAIN Berechurch from Lib Dems. Chris Pearson takes the seat with 852 votes. UKIP beat Lib Dem into second place. New Town due up next.
Berechurch is to be the first seat announced shortly.
Here's Ben Howard, Labour candidate for Castle ward
Kevin Bentley, John Jowers and MP Bernard Jenkin
Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell
Labour councillor Dave Harris
We're starting to get some turnouts through for several wards. They range from 29% in New Town to 44% in Prettygate. They seem a little higher than previous years, due to the Euro polls.
Mr Pritchard has announced the votes are all verified. In 10 minutes, they will be totted up.
Sir Bob Russell admits all three main parties are looking nervously at the number of votes going to UKIP. He predicts Old Heath ward could be a three way battle between UKIP, Labour and Lib Dems.
Adrian Pritchard, chief executive and returning officer, says the votes should be verified soon after 1am. After a short break, they will then be totted up.
UKIP has put forward a record 14 candidates. Colchester secretary Ron Levy has been paying close attention to the Shrub End votes as they are verified and believes candidate Sarah Hardy, a retired army nurse, stands a chance of winning the seat from Lib Dem Lyn Barton.
As the votes are verified, party members pay close attention to see where the crosses are placed to try and get a flavour of their support. Mr Newell said the signs in Berechurch were good.
Jordan Newell, Colchester Labour Party chair, predicts his group should gain Berechurch from the Lib Dems.
Pam Nelson, one of the Green candidates who are standing in all 20 seats, says the party has had a rise of young people joining the party in Colchester. The party is hopeful of winning an MEP in the East.
Will Quince, leader of Colchester Council's Conservatives, says the party's aim was to close the gap with the Lib Dems in wards like Christchurch, Mile End and Castle. If they win one of those seats, that would be "the icing on the cake".
Joining the local MPs watching the votes come in are the leaders of the three big groups on Colchester Council: Anne Turrell of the Lib Dems, Will Quince of the Conservatives and Labour's Tim Young.
Witham MP Priti Patel is here. She'll be paying close attention to western wards in her constituency, including Stanway
To recap, there are 20 seats up for grabs. Colchester Council is run by a coalition of 26 Lib Dem, 7 Labour and 3 Highwoods independent group councillors. The Conservatives, with 23 seats, are the opposition and there is a by-election due following the death of Labour councillor Steve Ford.
Sir Bob says Shrub End seat, which the Lib Dems are defending from challenges from the Conservatives and UKIP, could be one to watch.
Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell has joined us in the media room. The Lib Dems are defending 10 seats, and he doubts the party will have 10 seats tomorrow morning.
Evening all. I'm at the Charter Hall where the Colchester Council and Euro election votes from the borough are being verified.
Comments are closed on this article.