THE Conservative Party has lost overall control of Worcester City Council in a dramatic night at the polls, leaving the authority hanging in the balance after a shock twist.

A sensational Green victory in Battenhall, where ex-parliamentary candidate Louis Stephen defeated veteran Tory David Tibbutt, and a Labour gain in Warndon sparked jubilant scenes, wrestling two crucial seats from Conservative control.

Labour also held its key seat in Cathedral and successfully defended all of its other wards, a dramatic and surprise outcome which now leaves no party in overall control.

The Conservatives kept Claines, but were unable to prise St Stephen away from Green Councillor Neil Laurenson's control, leaving leader Councillor Marc Bayliss and his entire Tory cabinet facing the boot.

This morning's remarkable outcome leaves the council with 17 Conservatives, 16 Labour politicians and two Greens, leaving the door open for a potential Lab-Green 'pact' for the first time in the authority's history.

Only this week Worcester Green Party ruled out any formal Coalition in the event of the council being hung, but it is now widely expected to do some sort of deal which could see Labour govern as a minority party.

The result shocked activists from all three parties, with Labour braced for a poor set of results in line with the national trends.

Within the last hour Councillor Bayliss appeared to have already virtually abandoned his hopes of staying on as leader, saying he saw no serious prospect of any deal with the Greens.

"We are still the largest party and we will seek to continue to govern with other parties, if that's possible," he said.

"But I don't believe there is any possibility of that, the Labour and Greens have had a pact at this election, people have been duped over what they are voting for - we'll end up having a Labour administration with Green backing."

Labour group leader Councillor Adrian Gregson, who kept his Rainbow Hill seat, said he would celebrate first and then talk to the Greens later.

"We'll let the dust settle first and then see what happens," he said.

"Considering where we were at the General Election 12 months ago it's a remarkable turnaround."

An emotional Louis Stephen, who was nearly in tears at the verdict, described his victory as "a great day" in his life.

He captured 1,081 votes in Battenhall, with David Tibbutt on 887, giving him a majority of 194.

"I'm honoured, I'm humbled, and I'm thankful," he said.

"The trust the people of Battenhall have given me is incredible, this is a big day for me."

He also said he would "get some sleep" before considering his next step, before the crucial Annual Council meeting to decide the new administration on Tuesday, May 17.

Elsewhere today, Alan Amos managed to keep the Bedwardine seat Tory, while Conservative James Stanley was elected for the first time, beating Lib Dem Mel Allcott in Claines.

Other new councillors include Elaine Williams in Warndon and Tracey Biggs in Nunnery, both Labour.

UKIP suffered a poor night at the polls, going backwards in most wards, while the Lib Dems were again left bruised in Claines, losing by 237.

One year ago the Conservatives gained overall control of the council for the first time since 2011.

Today's outcome means Labour could again grab back power for just the second time this century, after the 12 months it had in control in 2013/14.

  • Election results at a glance HERE
  • For our LIVE coverage through the night go HERE
  • A special elections section of our website is HERE
  • The long read: full analysis and reaction to last night's result in Worcester HERE