In West Suffolk the Conservatives remain the largest single party on the council even though they no longer have a majority.

That means they will have first call on trying to form a minority administration with Independent councillors - but it is still early days in those talks.

The Tories have 26 councillors on the 64-seat authority, leaving them seven short of an overall majority. Labour has 17. 

There are nine in the West Suffolk Independents group and another 10 councillors sit as independents at West Suffolk House. There is one Liberal Democrat and one Green councillor.

The number of independents and the lack of impact from the Greens and Liberal Democrats make West Suffolk different from other districts in Suffolk.

Leading Conservative councillor Richard Rout said he and his colleagues were still taking stock of the results.

East Anglian Daily Times: Richard Rout said Conservatives hoped to retain leadership of West Suffolk council.Richard Rout said Conservatives hoped to retain leadership of West Suffolk council. (Image: Suffolk County Council)

He said: "We lost a lot of good councillors but we are seeing what can be done.

"I really don't think the result was any kind of reflection on the work of the council - or of our group. It was dissatisfaction with the way things had gone over the last year.

"Having said that Rishi Sunak is doing a good job and has stabilised things, we’ve something to build on.” 

He felt West Suffolk was different to the other parts of the county because protest votes tended to go to independent councillors rather than the Green or Liberal Democrats.

"But if you look at them, they tend to campaign in the same way."

The Labour Party did better in West Suffolk than in other rural parts of the county. As well as in Bury St Edmunds it picked up councillors in Haverhill and Newmarket.