Lib Dem leader Roger Hayes came close to losing his seat, winning Smithills by the slimmest of margins.

He polled 1,588 votes to Labour's 1,542.

It was a welcome victory for the Lib Dems on an otherwise terrible night for the beleaguered party.

Meanwhile, Sean Harkin, the son of former veteran Labour councillor Guy, has won Westhoughton North & Chew Moor for the party.

Labour has had a good night so far taking Breightmet as well as Horwich and Blackrod.

Labour leader Cllr Cliff Morris has retained his Halliwell seat with a massive majority.

But it has been a bad night for the Lib Dems who face obliteration within the council make-up.

The Lib Dems have almost certainly suffered for party leader Nick Clegg's decision to go into a Coalition government with the Tories.

They have been beaten, in some seats, by the far right BNP and the Green Party, and have polled paltry figures in comparison with the Conservatives and Labour.

The largest casualty has been Cllr David Wilkinson who lost his seat to Labour.

The collapse of the Libs Dems is even more astonishing given they were the controlling party in 2004.