LATEST: Preston local election count as it happens

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Results in the Preston Council election have started to be announced at the Guild Hall.

Counting started at 1pm on Friday and results started being announced at around 2pm.

Election 2015.

Election 2015.

Voting stopped at 3pm to allow for people to observe a two minutes silence for VE Day.

So far there has not been any major surprises with a number of councillors or parities retaining wards.

The consensus among people in the Guild Hall is that the council will remain under Labour control.

All results are expected to be announced before 5pm.

Labour’s John Swindells retained his seat in university ward. He said he was ‘happy’ but the result was not unexpected.

He said: “I think we are going to do much better than we did nationally. We will win all the seats we retained last time and there’s a possibility of two more.”

Meanwhile Eric Fazackerley who represented Sharoe Green said he was happy his successor Sonia Gildert won the seat.

Eric, 82, had represented the ward for 20 years, and was also leader of the party in Preston.

A new leader of the group will be decided shortly.

Ahead of yesterday’s vote there was 19 conservative councillors, five Liberal Democrats and one Independent.

There is elections in all but three council wards, with 19 seats up for grabs.

Labour and the Conservatives are fielding a candidate in every ward, while the Liberal Democrats are contesting nine seats.

The Green Party is vying for 12 seats, and the UK Independence Party (UKIP) is contesting eight.

Cadley Ward, Fishwick Ward and St George’s Ward have no elections this year.

The leader and deputy leader of the city’s Conservative group, Eric Fazackerley and Julie Buttle, have announced they will not re-stand at this year’s election.

Other candidates stepping down include Labour’s Bhikhu Patel and Samuel Gardiner, Conservative councillor Alexandra Thompson-Ortega, and Liberal Democrat Peter Pringle.

For all the results from across Lancashire visit our local election map here