A local election with little change was good news for Labour in Manchester - where the ruling group still boasts 92 out of 96 councillors at the town hall. The Greens gained a second seat in Woodhouse Park from Labour in the only change on the day, which follows their first win in the city at the 2021 election.
Labour held onto Ancoats and Beswick, beating the Lib Dems by 98 votes in the closes contest across the city after losing a by-election earlier this year. And long-serving Lib Dem councillor John Leech won by nearly 900 votes in Didsbury West, beating Labour in the swing seat they wanted to win.
Despite the net loss, Manchester council leader Bev Craig said the results at her first local elections since taking over from Sir Richard Leese last year were 'fantastic' and promised to win Labour voters back under her leadership.
She said: "It's always sad to lose a seat, but it's democracy. We'll come back next time to make sure we can win the seat.
"Any election we don't win, we analyse and make sure we come back stronger."
Newly-elected Green councillor Astrid Johnson, who unseated Labour's Sarah Judge by winning 195 more votes, was 'incredibly emotional' following the win.
She said people in Woodhouse Park feel forgotten by Labour and pointed to a local perception that the city centre is prioritised. She put the Greens' success down to thinking global, but acting local.
She said: "Obviously, the Green Party stands up against the climate crisis, but this starts at a very local level. If a car park is built and it floods other areas because of planning decisions, that has direct concern to the climate crisis.
"In this ward, it's about the person who shows up and takes care of people. This is a very local thing."
The tightest race was in Ancoats and Beswick, where the Lib Dems hoped to secure a seat following a shock by-election win in February, beating Labour. But Labour managed to hold onto the seat with newly-elected councillor Irene Robinson winning 98 more votes than Lib Dem candidate Chris Northwood.
Labour failed to unseat Lib Dem leader John Leech in Didsbury West though. The former MP who was first elected to Manchester council 25-years-ago fought off the threat from Labour who won in this ward at the last election.
But Labour's Luke Savage was 897 votes short of winning the marginal ward. Speaking after the results, the Lib Dem leader said it was a 'tough campaign'.
He said: "It would be wrong to suggest that I didn't think at some points throughout the campaign that there was a possibility that we could lose.
"There was a danger that Labour managed to persuade people that they have to give the Tories a good kicking – but there are no Tories in Manchester."
The Lib Dems lost by 246 votes in Withington and came second in Didsbury East – although Labour won by a margin of more than 1,000 votes in the ward.
Labour councillors commented on the 'collapse' of the Conservative vote, saying that this should send a message to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The ruling party at the town hall remains the largest Labour group in the country with 92 councillors (-1), while the Lib Dems and Greens each have two.