The far-right BNP made a shock gain in the latest council by-elections. Mainstream party concerns will be revived by the result at Fenside, Boston Borough Council, Lincolnshire, which comes after a long period in which its votes appeared to have been contained.
Candidate David Owens polled 279 votes to win with a 138 majority over the ruling Boston Bypass Independent group. The party did not fight the ward in last year's main polls.
The BNP's vote share dropped in two other by-elections this week.
In a blow to Labour hopes of a further bounce after last week's triumph in the Glenrothes Commons contest, Tories held a marginal seat at Markfield, Stanton and Field Head, Hinckley and Bosworth Borough, Leicestershire.
Boston Borough - Fenside: BNP 279, Boston Bypass Independent 141, C 119, Lab 69, Ukip 24, Lib Dem 23. (May 2007 - Two seats Boston Bypass Independents 317, 315, Lab 174, C 134, Lab 116, Ukip 107). BNP gain from Boston Bypass Independent. Swing 4.6% Lab to C.
Darlington Borough - North Road: Lib Dem 561, Lab 262, C 115, BNP 106, Ind 60. (May 2007 - Three seats Lib Dem 930, 861, 836, Lab 401, 381, 296, C 193, BNP 168). Lib Dem hold. Swing 2.6% Lib Dem to Lab.
Hinckley and Bosworth Borough - Markfield, Stanton and Field Head: C 637, Lab 528, Lib Dem 390, BNP 263. (May 2007 - Two seats Lab 970, C 844, 840, Lab 639, BNP 371, Lib Dem 208, 122). C hold. Swing 2.2% Lab to C.
Wokingham District - Coronation: C 850, Lib Dem 675, Ukip 74. (May 2007 - C 1133, Lib Dem 802, Ukip 103, Lab 92). C hold. Swing 2.2% C to Lib Dem.