THERE has been a historic night in the Cotswolds council elections, after the Liberal Democrats secured a majority and took control for the first time ever.

The swing against Conservatives began to emerge in the early hours as there were gains for the Liberal Democrats in Siddington and Cerney, Ermin, Moreton East and Northleach.

At 3.30am the picture became more clearer after the Conservatives, needing all seven seats left to call, saw Tetbury East and Rural won by Independent Nikki Ind - a result that meant they could not win and had lost control of the authority.

By the end of the night the extent of how much voters had turned away from the Conservatives was apperent as the party’s majority of 10 was wiped out, with eight wards won by opponents.

The Liberal Democrats gained six seats from the Conservatives, as well as one Independent and a Green candidate – marking the first ever Green councillor on the district council.

There was a 40 per cent turn out.

The Liberal Democrat’s majority is a small one though after voters in the district had their say yesterday, with many senior councillors blaming Westminster for the surprising result.

The composition of Cotswold District Council is now:

18 Liberal Democrats

14 Conservatives

One Independent

One Green

Leader of the district council’s Liberal Democrats Joe Harris, who could be the council leader if chosen by members, said this is an “historic result”.

Mr Harris said: “I am absolutely thrilled.

"The Liberal Democrats have never won the district council before so we are creating history tonight.

"Our campaign slogan was ‘local people deserve better’ and they bought into that. My promise is we will try and deliver better.”

The Conservatives had controlled the district council since 2003. It was followed by no overall control from 1999 to 2003, and was run by Independents since its beginning from 1973 to 1999.

Councillor Tony Berry, now the former-council leader but was re-elected last night to the Kemble ward, said they lost because of the handling of Brexit.

He said: “We lost it because there is an awful lot of rubbish going at the top level of politics, a lot of people not turning out to vote, putting in votes which are basically to show they are not happy with what is going on at the moment.

“A great shame because this has been a really successful council. We have overcome all of the issues in terms of cutting costs from Government.

“We are in healthy position and we will be handing that over to the Liberal Democrats, and I hope they will continue to be prudent financially and actually have some very well thought-out policies.

“I will obviously hold them to that and make sure it happens as leader of the opposition.”

The Green party succeeded in having its first ever councillor elected to the district council.

Andrew Maclean de-throned Conservative and cabinet member Mark Mackenzie-Charrington off his Rissingtons ward.

Mr Maclean was the only opposition candidate to Mr Mackenzie-Charrington, and his majority is now 37.

He said: “It is really great to have won this seat for the first time.

"I think the issues of climate change have come up in the world so much and I got an upswell in local support. I think it is fantastic the people in the Cotswolds now want to preserve our planet and make a future for our children.”

Commenting on his loss, Mr Mackenzie-Charrington said: “Residential development in the Rissington is why this has happened, not only what is going on in Westminster.

“But also the blame is being put at the district council, and it didn’t help I was also a cabinet member for planning and licensing, and therefore it was deemed that I was to blame for unhappiness that some of these new home-buyers came across.”

At one point a count was delayed after a ‘smiley face’ on a ballot paper was accepted despite debate and unhappiness from Conservatives.

Similarly, one count resulted in a tie between a Conservative and an Independent candidate who both received 232 votes. There was one ballot paper which said “Brexit” with an arrow to the Conservative candidate, Stephen Hirst - who eventually won that ward as it was considered a symbol of support.

The new council will meet for the first time on May 14.

READ MORE: UKIP candidate's death postpones ward election