THE Liberal Democrats in Test Valley are celebrating a bittersweet election result after finding themselves with more seats than last term, but no control of the council.

They were unable to gain control of the Test Valley Borough Council as they got only 17 out of the 43 seats.

The Conservative party secured 26 seats and won the majority.

However, the LibDems did manage to add five new councillors, their biggest gain since the 1990s, and came very close to winning in several seats where they lost by only around 50 votes.

The closest saw its candidate lose out by just three votes.

READ MORE: Conservatives win majority in Test Valley, LibDems also gain

The party's leader in Test Valley, Neil Gwynne, expressed mixed emotions about the outcome, saying that it was a great result for the party but disappointing not to win the majority of seats.

He said: “Despite the Liberal Democrats winning the popular vote we didn't win the majority of Test Valley Borough Council's seats, which is disappointing."

Looking ahead to the general election, the Liberal Democrats are encouraged by their success in the Romsey and Southampton North constituency, where they won all three seats in Bassett and received over 30,000 votes across the wards.

The party’s prospective parliamentary candidate, Geoff Cooper, described it as a "fantastic set of results".