Voters gave the Conservatives a pounding in the Colchester Council elections.

Two senior cabinet members were ousted as the Tories lost five seats - and surrendered overall control of the authority into the bargain.

They remain the largest party on the council, but will need the support of other groups in order to form an administration.

Negotiations will be held in the next few days.

As Colchester voters went their own way on what was a night of Conservative successes in council elections across Britain, the Lib Dems proved the biggest winners in the polls.

They took four seats and now hold 23 to the Tories' 27.

The Labour group also bucked the national trend by boosting their representation from six to seven, while their party was given a drubbing elsewhere.

Their candidate Kim Naish took the Berechurch seat previously occupied by Craig Sutton, who controversially defected from the Lib Dems to the Conservatives last year.

The fast pace of the town's homes growth appears a likely factor behind the swing from blue to yellow and red.

One of the shock results of the night was the victory in Mile End of newcomer Martin Goss, who put concerns about excessive housebuilding at the forefront of his campaign.

He beat sitting candidate Brian Jarvis, the Tories' regeneration supremo, at a canter, attracting almost twice as many votes.

Conservative group leader Robert Davidson said, as the ruling party, his group had suffered from rivals campaigning on single issues that affected individual wards.

"The reality is that the party in control always has brickbats thrown at it," he said.

"It is very easy for the opposition to put forward policies that are undeliverable, while the party in power has to look at the big picture."

Twenty of the 60 seats on the council were up for grabs in the elections.

  • For the full results in each ward, follow the link below
  • More coverage and pictures in today's Gazette