The party won two seats in Norbiton.
A red tint to Kingston emerged on Sunday as Labour returned to the council after a four-year exile.
The party won two seats in Norbiton and missed out on the third by just three votes, following a dramatic second recount of Thursday’s votes.
Linsey Cottington and Sheila Griffin finished first and second respectively, with Liberal Democrat Bill Brisbane narrowly holding off Kingston Labour chairman Laurie South.
On Thursday night Mr South was confident his party could re-establish itself in a ward where they had won the top two seats in both 2002 and 2006.
He said: “Norbiton has always been a Labour area – it was only lent to the Liberal Democrats in 2010.”
“The Lib Dems certainly were not getting much support on the doorstep – we had a much better reaction from the Kingston community.”
The result capped a strong showing for Labour across the borough as they increased their share of the vote to 18% – a 50% rise on 2010.
Although Labour had particularly targeted Norbiton, the extraordinary amount of split votes in the ward blurred whether they had reclaimed any of the three Lib Dem seats.
The confusion continued when the count and first recount suggested there was a single vote between third and fourth place.
Councillor Brisbane said he was expecting a long night but perhaps did not foresee the ward going to a second recount on Sunday.
In the end it took a coalition of sorts between Labour and the Lib Dems to argue the counters and scrutinisers were too tired to concentrate and a further recount should be delayed.
Those still present at The King’s Centre in Chessington at 10am were only too happy to oblige.
The result in Norbiton confirms the final standing of 28 Conservative, 18 Liberal Democrat and two Labour councillors.
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