This year’s close Bolton Council elections came just months before voters are expected to go to the polls in a national election.

Though local factors featured heavily, many candidates who gathered for the count at The University of Bolton Arena said voters also had national or even international issues in mind.

Labour’s Yasmin Qureshi, MP for Bolton South East, said it was hard to say how this could influence further elections.

She said: "I genuinely think it'd difficult to call in some places.

"For a local council local issues matter but national issues do as well.

The Bolton News: Labour candidate for Bolton West Phil BrickellLabour candidate for Bolton West Phil Brickell (Image: Newsquest)

"The Middle East and Gaza has been an issue and unfortunately we’ve had people on the doorstep saying they won't vote Labour they'll vote for anybody else they'll vote Green or independent."

But she said she hopes people will consider national issues and the government's performance over the last 14 years when casting their votes at this year's general election.

Conservative Chris Green said that local issues where to the fore in an election like this but he still hoped it would give him good grounding for the national poll.

He said: "So that's superb preparation for the general election but in the short term we want to do as well as we can on the council because from potholes to bins Labour is failing."

His Bolton North Conservative colleague Mark Logan MP said he believed the results on the night were good portents for his chance of keeping hold of his own seat.

Mr Logan said: "It's been pretty good, one conversion we had in Breightmet stood out.

"One gentleman said the economic indices were starting to look more positive and that there was light at the end of the tunnel for UK PLC.

"We wouldn't be in it if we didn't believe we could win it and really have had a lot of positive responses in Bolton North East."

ALSO READ: 'Backlash' hits ruling council group in tense overnight election results

ALSO READ: Results flood in after votes counted at close Bolton Council election

ALSO READ: Full results in tense Bolton Council election count

But his Labour opponent Kirith Entwistle has said that her party’s win in the Bradshaw ward could show that people are looking for a change in the Bolton North East area.

She said: "A Labour councillor in Bradshaw for the first time since 1996, a well-deserved victory. Congratulations, Jackie!

"I’d like to echo my thanks to everyone who played their part supporting our fantastic candidates, and to the candidates themselves who worked incredibly hard.

"We ran a brilliant campaign."

But she said the loss of her party's councillors elsewhere meant the result was "bittersweet."

She said: "We have some work to do to regain people’s trust and restore their faith in us to secure a Labour victory at a General Election.

"I won’t be taking anything for granted."

Labour candidate for Bolton West Phil Brickell, who will take on Mr Green, said that very different factors could be in play in a Westminster election.

He said: "I think its a strong performance in the wards that we were targeting in Hulton where Fazeela Khan took a seat of an independent and Westhoughton South where we took a seat off an independent.

He added: "I'm really pleased we've two new councillors in these areas but you can't read to much into these results, you got national factors whether it be Gaza or Rwanda, you've got the independent parties and ultimately the election in Bolton West will be a two horse race between Labour and the Conservatives.”