The Liberal Democrats had the last laugh after a marathon count when Ian Dixon was finally declared the winner of East Grinstead Herontye - after the drawing of lots.

After an astonishing six recounts he tied with Conservative Edward Belsey on 626 votes and the council drew lots and Mr Dixon was chosen along with another Liberal Democrat, David Heasman.

The result, however, did not prevent the Tories from retaining control of the council.

They have 28 seats to the Lib Dems' 24 and two seats for Labour.

Nails were bitten on Conservative and Liberal Democrat hands throughout the night as up until the last ten minutes it was uncertain who would come out on top.

It was close run throughout the evening, despite Conservatives holding on to their majority with 28 seats.

High Weald was one of several wards which had to be recounted as the numbers were so close. Just ten votes separated Lib Dem stalwart Pat Webster, who lost her seat, and council chairman Christopher Hersey, who won.

It was the last count of the evening and one of the most nerve-wracking as new ward boundaries had thrown together council leader Christine Field, who won her seat, Coun Hersey and Ms Webster.

The Lib Dems led on several occasions and until almost the end there was only one seat between the two parties.

Yet with the results of Hassocks and finally High Weald, the Conservatives gained five seats, giving them the majority they need.

However, Ken Blanshard, Lib Dem leader, vowed to register an official objection against the High Weald count.

ARDINGLY AND BALCOMBE: Elected - Andrew MacNaughton (C) 706, Gary Marsh (C). Not elected - Donald Morrison (LD) 328, Ben Ross (LD) 222.

ASHURST WOOD: Elected - Stephen Barnett (LD) 485. Not elected - John Saull (C) 234.

BOLNEY: Elected - Susan Seward (C) 603. Mot elected - Anna Hodgetts (LD) 112, Dawn Houghton (L) 59, Peter Berry (Official Monster Raving Loony) 36.

BURGESS HILL DUNSTALL: Elected - Suzanne Cosgrave (C) 453, Andrew Barrett-Miles (C) 449.

Not elected - David Drew (LD) 391, Betty Davies (LD) 382.

BURGESS HILL FLANKLANDS: Elected - Heather Ross (LD) 909, Michael Sullivan (C) 712. Not elected - Barbara Selby (C) 645.

BURGESS HILL LEYLANDS: Elected - Gillian Balsdon (LD) 711, Anne Jones (LD) 711. Not elected - Peter Burgess (C) 288, Alfred May (C) 235.

BURGESS HILL MEEDS: Elected: Kathleen Dumbovic (LD) 690, Patrick Cutler (LD) 626. Not elected - John Boulter (C) 248, Julian Wadey (C) 324.

BURGESS HILL ST ANDREWS: Elecetd - David Shevels (LD) 563, Diane Shevels (LD) 522. Not elected - Jacqueline Landriani (C) 329.

BURGESS HILL VICTORIA: Elected - Graham Knight (LD) 471, Lyn Williams (LD) 451. Not elected - Edward Holland (C) 299, Geraldine May (C) 289, COPTHORNE AND WOOD: Elected - Martin Forde (C) No contest, Edward Livesey (C) No contest.

CRAWLEY DOWN AND TURNERS HILL: Elected - Philip Coote (C) 804, Ian Scotland (C) 795, Julian Calvert (C) 794. Not elected - Andrew Fynn (LD) 612, Felicity Bunting (LD) 603 Janette Wilson (LD) 530.

CUCKFIELD: Elected - David King (C) 717, Brenda Binge (C) 687. Not elected - Peter Davis (I) 300, Marianne Griffin (LD) 281 Mira McMichael (LD) 225.

EAST GRINSTEAD ASHPLATS: Elected - Roland Lord (LD) 541, Paul Johnson (LD) 536. Not elected - Margaret Ball (C) 435, Matthew Madgwick (C) 427.

EAST GRINSTEAD BALDWINS: Elected - Deborah Adams (LD) 506, Bernard Gillbard (LD) 502. Not elected - Sally Beal (C) 366, Philip Coote (C) 314.

EAST GRINSTEAD HERONTYE: Elected - Ian Dixon (LD), 626, David Heasman (LD) 631. Not elected - Andrew Lee (C) 563, Edward Belsey (C) 626.

EAST GRINSTEAD IMBERHORNE: Elected - Jean Glynn (LD) 624, Barry Starmer (LD) 565. Not elected - Allan Beal (C) 464 , Brian Sparkes (C) 429.

EAST GRINSTEAD TOWN: Elected - James Joyce-Nelson (LD) 258, Edward Matthews (LD) 254 . Not elected - Margaret Belsey (C) 167.

HASSOCKS: Elected - Peter Martin (C) 1263, Gordon Marples (C) 1224, Patrick Shanahan (C) 1164. Not elected - Nigel Cook (LD) 811, Jonathan Kemp (LD) 768, Stephen Mulligan (LD) 729 , Jennifer Epstein (L) 227, Arleene Piercy (L) 212, Stephen Lewis (L) 187.

HAYWARDS HEATH ASHENGROUND: Elected - Brian Hall (LD) 748, Richard Bates (LD) 742. Not elected - Rodney Ransom (C) 413,Gerald Madden (C) 155.

HAYWARDS HEATH BENTSWOOD: Elected - Patrick Henry (L) 633, Richard Goddard (L) 609. Not elected - Clare Steele (C) 325, James Horsman (C) 322, John Riddington (LD) 186, Philip Brown (LD) 172.

HAYWARDS HEATH FRANKLANDS: Clive Chapman (C) 548, Ian Ellis (C) 521. Not elected -

Paul Lucraft (LD) 330, Anthony Mercer (LD) 304, Denis Nyman (L) 134, Pascal Atkins (L) No figure available.

HAYWARDS HEATH HEATH: Elected - Irene Wilkins (LD) 789, Julia Brown (LD) 774. Not elected - Margaret Baker (C) 608, Timothy Hartley (C) 604.

HAYWARDS HEATH LUCASTES: Elected - Terence Gillard (C) 695, Derek Booker (C) 642. Not elected - Irene Balls (LD) 597, Elizabeth Rodgers (LD) 493.

HIGH WEALD: Elected - Christine Field (C) 775, Christopher Hersey (C) 591. Not elected - Patricia Webster (LD) 581, Paul Brown (G) 381, Leslie Camplisson (LD) 347.

HURSTPIERPOINT AND DOWNS: Elected - Susanna Kemp (C) 1126 David Hampson (C)1084, James Worsley (C) 1030. Not elected - Rodney Jackson (LD) 827, Ann Morgan (L) 474, Malcolm Uhlhorn (L) 368.

LINDFIELD: Elected - Margaret Hersey (C) 1101, George Snowling (C) 1093, Mark Sharman (C) 1029. Not elected - Anne-Marie Lucraft (LD) 910, Cyril Povey (LD) 824, Gillian House (LD) 807.