A hyper local political party in the borough has pledged to “come back stronger” from a bitterly disappointing local elections night - and could yet hold the balance of power.

The elections in Bolton last week saw the Farnworth and Kearsley First party shaken to its core when sitting councillor Maureen Flitcroft was narrowly defeated in the party’s Farnworth heartland, to the surprise of many candidates and observers.

But, the results which left neither the Conservatives nor Labour with an overall majority could still give the party’s surviving three councillors huge influence over who forms the next administration.

Farnworth and Kearsley First’s Cllr Tracey Wilkinson said: “We’re obviously utterly disappointed at our result in Farnworth, we know its 50/50 between us and Labour and that’s why we always encourage people to get out and vote.”

She added: “Politics is up and down and we will regroup and be back stronger next year.”

The Bolton News:

Maureen Flitcroft and Paul Saunders look on alongside Labour's Cllr Mohammed Ayub as Ayub Nadeem emerges as the winner in Farnworth

Last Thursday’s poll saw Maureen Flitcroft lose to Labour’s Ayub Nadeem by 1,118 votes to 1,406, while in Kearsley, Peter Flitcroft came second with 715 votes to One Kearsley’s Debbie Newell.

In Harper Green, candidate Leanne Oliver came third with 561 votes.

But the party still has three councillors left and Cllr Wilkinson believes policies like the impending multimillion pound redevelopment of Farnworth market precinct show the town is being recognised.

The Bolton News:

An artist's impression of the proposed redevelopment of Farnworth market precinct

She said: “We’ve got the development in Farnworth market precinct.

“People in Farnworth need to understand that we’re getting something, its not going to be pulled, its happening.”

She also said that plans to redraw the boundaries ahead of next year’s all-out elections will mean that both Farnworth and Kearsley will be restored to their “true” states which will be hugely important for people’s sense of identity.

But the party has not commited their support to either major part yet.

Cllr Wilkinson said: “At the moment we’re all up and down and we as a party have not made any concrete decisions yet.”

In the aftermath of the election, Ms Flitcroft thanked campaigners but said she was concerned about the turnout, just 27 per cent in Farnworth.

The next council leadership will be decided by next Wednesday.