THE council leader lost his seat and his party lost overall control during a night of election shocks for the Liberal Democrats in Pendle.

Coun Alan Davies's seat in Boulsworth went to the Conservatives, who also gained Horsfield from the Liberal Democrats.

Tories George Askew and Michael Calvert took the two seats with 1,006 votes and 1,189 respectively.

With 17 spots up for grabs the Liberal Democrats lost a number of wards to Conservative and Labour, blaming their losses on the Conservatives targeted campaign.

They lost eight seats overall, including Brierfield to Labour and the two seats in Boulsworth, which had one of the highest turnouts, with 48.59.

The Liberal Democrats did manage to wrestle Vivary Bridge from Labour Glenda Clegg, taking the ward with 490 votes.

This year's elections took place during a stormy campaign with allegations of fraud.

The ousted council leader said: "The Conservatives have run a very targeted campaign. We estimate that they spent a quarter of a million pounds in Pendle."

Conservative leader Anthony Beckett said: "We can see the tide is now turning towards us.

"The people are fed up of Labour nationally and the Liberals locally and they want a change.

"We are the party who is offering them truth, inregrity and honesty and this is why people are voting for us."

Nearly half of the seats up for grabs - 12 out of 28 - were being defended by the LibDems.