THURSDAY’S elections brought no changes to the control of any Sussex councils - although one came tantalisingly close.

In Crawley, a matter of just 13 votes protected the Labour administration from falling to the Conservatives.

In both Adur and Worthing the Tories kept control and Labour remain in administration in Hastings.

As elsewhere in the country, the UKIP vote disintegrated on a night likened to the Black Death by party general secretary Paul Oakley.

In Crawley 12 seats were in play - one third of the council’s total.

Labour, with 19 seats in total, was defending a narrow majority of just two seats and came close to losing them.

The Conservatives had to hold the four seats they were defending and pick up two gains.

The Ifield and Southgate wards were their top targets, and they lost both by a whisker - Labour held Southgate by 14 votes and Ifield by nine.

If more than half of those voters had switched to the Conservatives - a total of just 13 electors - the seats would have changed hands and so would the council.

Peter Lamb, Labour leader of the council, said: “I’m very proud we are still in a position to deliver and improve local facilities and services.”

In Adur the Conservatives are still firmly in the driving seat but marginally less dominant than they were yesterday.

Labour picked up three seats to add to the four they had. The Conservatives kept their 16 seats and UKIP dropped from six to four.

In neighbouring Worthing Labour added four seats to their pre-existing one.

The Conservatives now have 28 seats (down two) the Lib Dems two (no change), UKIP one (down one), and Greens none (no change) and there is still one Independent.

In the east of the county, Hastings’ Conservatives might have been braced for a tough result.

Not only has the party seen its MP get demoted from the Government front bench, but council candidate Matt Lynch was accused of fabricating a claim to have spent 12 years in the Paras, including active duty in the Falklands.

In the event, he was nowhere to be seen on election night and the council remained almost unchanged.

The Conservatives stayed on eight councillors, and Labour moved from 23 to 24 after a seat which had been won by a Labour candidate who turned Independent was regained by Labour.