HUDDERSFIELD voters have given the Lib Dems a kicking.
The party lost six seats on Kirklees Council yesterday, slipping into third place overall.
Labour remain the biggest party on the hung council, with the Conservatives moving up to second place.
Lib Dems crashed to defeat in Colne Valley, Golcar and Dalton in the first electoral test since the party went into a coalition government with the Conservatives.
Long-serving councillor Robert Iredale was among the casualties at yesterday’s count at Huddersfield Sports Centre.
The Lib Dem, who was first elected to Kirklees in 1989, lost his Golcar seat to Labour’s Hilary Richards by 200 votes.
The party also lost out in Dalton, with Labour’s Cliff Preest beating sitting councillor Roger Battye by 1,200 votes.
Labour’s Darren O’Donovan took Dewsbury West from the Lib Dems, unseating Naz Hussain.
Lib Dems also suffered at the hands of their coalition partners the Conservatives in yesterday’s count.
Former Tory councillor Tony Brice easily beat sitting Lib Dem Tony Woodhead in Lindley, winning by more than 700 votes.
The Conservatives also made a gain in Colne Valley, with Marsden woman Donna Bellamy taking the seat vacated by retiring Lib Dem Margaret Fearnley.
Labour surged into a strong second in the area on 1,554 votes, pushing Lib Dem Lynn Bradbury into third.
The party also dropped from first to third in Holme Valley North, where David Woodhead lost his seat to independent Edgar Holroyd-Doveton with the Conservatives coming second.
There was a rare piece of good news for the Lib Dems in Almondbury, where James Blanchard won the seat vacated by retiring councillor John Smithson. He finished 300 votes head of the Tories.
Clr Andrew Pinnock was the only other Lib Dem to defend his seat successfully yesterday, winning by more than 800 votes in Cleckheaton.
Twenty-three of the 69 seats on the council were up for grabs at yesterday’s counts in Huddersfield Sports Centre and Dewsbury Sports Centre.
Labour remain the biggest party, with the three gains from the Lib Dems taking the party to 27 seats on Kirklees.
Labour easily held the seven seats it was defending yesterday, with healthy majorities in Crosland Moor and Netherton and Ashbrow.
Judith Hughes was elected for Greenhead, replacing retiring Labour councillor Barbara Jones.
There was another new face for Labour in Batley East where Amanda Stubley took over the seat vacated by Mary Harkin.
It was also a good day at the polls for the Conservatives, who moved from third to second place overall.
The party now has 21 seats, thanks to its gains in Colne Valley and Lindley.
The Tories retained the six seats they were defending yesterday, winning healthy majorities in Holme Valley South and Mirfield.
In Liversedge and Gomersal Lisa Holmes took over from retiring councillor Derrick Yates.
Clr Elaine Ward clung on in Denby Dale, beating Labour challenger Graham Turner by 300 votes.
But the Tories were disappointed in the neighbouring ward of Kirkburton, where Amanda Shaw failed to unseat Clr Derek Hardcastle of the Greens, who won by just 82 votes.
The Greens also held on in Newsome, with Clr Julie Stewart-Turner finishing comfortably ahead of Labour.
Turnout in the seat was the lowest in Kirklees, with just 34% of residents going to the polls. Denby Dale had the highest turnout on 48%.
The Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts contested four seats, finishing bottom in three of them.
Dr Jackie Grunsell, who was a councilor from 2006 to 2010, fared better in Crosland Moor and Netherton, coming third above the Lib Dems and Greens.
The BNP ran four candidates this year, down from 21 in 2010.
The party finished second bottom in three seats while Kirklees organiser Rachel Firth was last in Denby Dale.