By Claire Smyth
The Greens have triumphed in the local elections in Brighton and Hove winning 23 seats out of 54, making them the largest party on the council.
They are tantalisingly short – five seats short – of an overall majority.
Brighton and Hove City Council becomes the first in the country to be run by Greens, just as last year Brighton Pavilion became the first constituency to elect a Green MP, Caroline Lucas.
Ms Lucas attended the count, as did Brighton Kemptown Conservative MP Simon Kirby.
The Tories slipped from having 25 seats going into the election to 18.
Labour’s gains and losses left them still on 13 seats and they are expected to give at least tacit support to a Green administration as junior partners.
Bill Randall, the Green Party convenor, said: “The city has listened to the Greens and we have listened to the city.
“Greens would now sit down and plan how to take the city forward in these difficult times.
“This is the first time the Greens have been the largest party on any council in the UK and people seem to be genuinely enthused by the option of a Green-led council.
“It’s a great result for the city and a huge vote of confidence in the Greens. People went Green across Brighton & Hove. We held all our seats and gained 10 more.
“We now have 23 Green councillors, making us the largest Green group of councillors in the country.
“The next step is for us to talk to other parties about how we will work with them and implement our manifesto pledges at a very challenging time for local government budgets.
“We can’t say how this will work until we have entered into discussions.
“We’re going to go out and celebrate now and then the hard work starts next week.
“We will act in the interests of the community.
“Brighton has bucked the trend of small parties being squeezed since the last election. Brighton has shown it is different.
“We have a Green MP and if we can do it in Brighton then other places can do it as well.”
Mary Mears, the Conservative leader, paid tribute to candidates from all parties as well as to the officials who enabled the election to happen.
She said: “We will be back!”
Labour group leader Gill Mitchell said: “We have got a lot to be proud of.”
She said that the Labour vote had held up well and wondered how it might have looked if the alternative vote system had been used.
She said that Brighton and Hove was unique and that this result was always going to be different, adding: “Labour certainly will not disappear from any corner of the city.”
The Liberal Democrats lost their last remaining seat with the Greens beating Paul Elgood in Brunswick and Adelaide.
There was sympathy from some of Mr Elgood’s political rivals after his father, Brian, died last month shortly after the election campaign started.