The votes are in and despite some dramatic changes of seats the status quo in Kirklees has been maintained.
On Thursday, Kirklees’ 303,747 registered voters were given the chance to change the balance of power in the borough.
Going in to election day, Labour held 34 of the 69 seats and needed only one more to be in full control.
But after all ballot papers were counted, the party failed to grow its dominance in the council chamber at Huddersfield Town Hall.
Labour did gain one seat in the Colne Valley ward but also lost one in Liversedge and Gomersal.
Its hopes of getting a majority hinged on its key target of Almondbury.
But unlike a year earlier, when Clr Judith Hughes toppled the Lib Dems, Labour’s 2016 candidate, Ken Lowe, could not do the same.
Instead it was the Tories who deposed Lib Dem, Clr Phil Scott, by the narrowest of margins.
Leader of the council, Clr David Sheard, said: “I’m disappointed, we were hoping to gain control but we were missing just that one push.
“We were so close in so many seats. Almondbury is the most frustrating.”
Clr Sheard said it was now back to business of trying to run the council on a vastly reduced budget.
He said: “The other groups could combine to knock us out if they want to, but it’s highly unlikely.
“We’ve got a tough two years ahead of us. We’ve got a lot to do and we’ll get on with it.”
One of Labour’s key seats to hold on to was Denby Dale where Clr Graham Turner successfully saw off a strong Tory challenge.
The Conservative party sent Culture Minister John Whittingdale to the patch last month to bolster support but candidate Paula Kemp was still beaten by 147 votes.
A relieved Clr Turner said: “It’s vindication for the last four years of hard work, not only from myself but the team that surround me.
“The Tories did target me, they did send a Minister up, we were their number one target.
“We fought valiantly with a dedicated team of helpers and we fought back and increased the majority slightly. I’m the only Labour councillor in the rural areas of Kirklees so it’s a proud moment for me to retain the seat, especially as it’s the area I was born and brought up in.”
Despite failing in Denby Dale, Kirklees Conservative leader, Clr Robert Light, was in buoyant mood after gaining three seats overall.
The Tories took back Liversedge and Gomersal from Labour, deposed the Lib Dems in Almondbury and took down the Greens in Kirkburton.
Clr Light said: “We’ve had tremendous success at winning a seat in Huddersfield for the first time in 24 years.
“We’re absolutely delighted.
“When you look at the situation where Labour were expected to make gains across West Yorkshire, the fact we’ve made three gains and they haven’t taken overall control of the council it’s really good news for the people of Kirklees.”
Clr Light said the Greens and Independents were in “cahoots with Labour” so it was unlikely a coalition could be formed to outnumber Labour.
He added: “We know what Labour are doing is divisive and wrong in terms of the unfairn way they are reducing services across the borough.
“We will prove there’s another way of doing things and make sure there’s a strong opposition to their actions.”
The most hotly contested ward was Almondbury where all three major parties were hoping to win.
In the end the Conservatives narrowly won, beating both Labour and the Lib Dems by only a handful of votes.
Voters backed Tory Bernard McGuin 1,328 times, only 60 more than incumbent Clr Scott and only 69 more than Labour challenger Ken Lowe.
For Clr McGuin it’s a case of third time lucky after previous attempts to get on the council failed.
The former teacher and postman, who used to live on the Fernside Estate, said he had won by getting out every day and knocking on people’s doors amid some tough tactics from his opponents.
“It is very hard work to get elected,” he said. “It was a very bitter campaign but I’m just glad I came out of it victorious.”
In the Colne Valley, former Lib Dem Mayor, Clr David Ridgway, was deposed by Labour newcomer Rob Walker.
Clr Walker, former Assistant Principal at Huddersfield New College, said he hadn’t expected to win at the start of the campaign but had turned it around with hard work.
And he said he was delighted to fullfil a lifelong ambition of getting a seat on the council.
He said: “I’ve been interested in politics since I was a teenager and it’s always been my ambition to represent the Colne Valley in some way, so after 40 odd years I’ve actually managed to achieve it.”
He added: “Becoming a councillor at the moment you’ve got to be aware of the massive challenges with the scale of the spending cuts.”
70-year-old Clr Ridgway was magnanimous in defeat.
“I feel Rob Walker has won a campaign based on saving the surgery in Slaithwaite and good luck to him, but I don’t think it’ll get saved.
“I don’t know if I’ll miss being a councillor, but it’s been a real privilege.”
In Newsome, Green leader, Clr Andrew Cooper easily retained his seat despite some fears voters were slipping away.
But in Kirkburton, his colleague Robert Barraclough lost his seat to Tory newcomer, Richard Smith.
“We’ve got a bigger majority, twice the size of what we got last time, so I’m very pleased. But I’m very disappointed for Robert.
“He works very hard, he was a good councillor. It’s a real shame he’s lost out.
“The Conservatives managed to get a foothold in Kirkburton during the General Election, but we can come back.”
Victor, Clr Richard Smith, said his first experience of battling for election had been “very nerve wracking”.
He added: “My opponents put up a very worthy fight and the previous councillor was a very popular in the ward, so I’m delighted to win.
“Hopefully I can help make a stronger Conservative team in Kirklees, oppose Farnley Country Park and stand up for the rights of people in the Kirkburton area.”
While the Lib Dems had a miserable time in Almondbury and the Colne Valley they pulled off one of the shocks of the year by taking Lindley from Conservative councillor Mark Hemingway.
But the new councillor, Richard Eastwood, wasn’t at the count as he is on holiday.
In the Holme Valley North, independent Clr Charles Greaves easily retained his seat, keeping the ward completely free of party politics.
Overall, Labour now has 34 seats (no change), Conservative 20 (+2), Lib Dem 9 (-1), Green 3 (-1), Independent 3 (no change).
Turnout was 35%.