Conservatives strengthened their grip on Birmingham City Council as the party swept to victory in a number of key wards.
In a night of misery for Labour, Tory candidates were successful in Erdington, Weoley, Longbridge, Oscott and Quinton – ousting sitting Labour councillors.
And the Tories won sensationally in Stockland Green, a Labour stronghold for more than 20 years, where candidate Matt Bennett won with a 76-vote majority after a recount.
In Tyburn, Labour defector Ann Holtom won the seat for the Liberal Democrats with a majority of 508 and a swing of almost 20 per cent. Coun Holtom was elected in 2004 for Labour, but jumped ship two years ago.
Liberal Democrat group leader Paul Tilsley said: "We are cock-a-hoop over this. Winning in Tyburn was right at the top end of our expectations."
The Liberal Democrats held on in Bordesley Green, where the party lost to Labour last year and in Aston, where sitting councillor Ayoub Khan shook off a difficult few weeks following criticism of him by an election court judge. Coun Khan recorded a 352-vote majority over Labour.
Predictions of serious losses for the Liberal Democrats in inner city wards proved to be unfounded. The Lib Dem group looked on course to go through the night without losing a single seat.
And with Labour doing badly the future of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition seemed assured.
The only glimmer of hope for Labour came in Hodge Hill, one of the first results of the night, where Anita Ward saw off a strong Lib Dem challenge to hold the seat.
Last year, the Lib Dems beat Labour in Hodge Hill and expected to do well again this time.
In a sign of things to come there was a reduced majority for Labour in Shard End, where Marj Bridle managed to hang on against a 6.3 per cent swing to the Tories.
In Oscott, a Tory target seat for several years, Labour’s John Cotton was beaten by Conservative Graham Green.
Turnout was low, dipping to 26 per cent in Edgbaston and 23 per cent in Shard End.
Conservatives secured their strongest position on the council since 1986, when Margaret Thatcher retained an unassailable political grip on the country.
Tory council leader Mike Whitby described his party’s progress as exceptional. He said: "Urban Conservatism here is proving its worth. We are taking seats that not many years ago were regarded as Labour heartlands.
"We have now swept up the south of Birmingham and we have the north within our sights. We have all three councillors in Erdington and the youngest candidate in the UK pushed Kingstanding to a recount.
"We have also taken Stockland Green, in the Labour heartland, proving that we can appeal across the city. These are potential gains beyond our wildest dreams."
The Tory group went into the election with 43 councillors, one ahead of Labour, on 42, and 10 more than their Liberal Democrat coalition partners.
The position represents a remarkable turnaround since 1996, when there were only 12 Conservatives on the council.
Last year, the Conservatives became the largest group on the council for the first time in a quarter of a century.
Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Perry Barr, said he could not pretend that the party’s performance was anything other than poor.
"It’s a kicking and we need to get off our backsides and do some work," Mr Mahmood said.
Sir Albert Bore, leader of the Labour group, said: "This is a bad night for Labour in Birmingham. There’s no getting away from that.
"But I don’t think it is the Conservatives winning this election. The turnout is down and it is a matter of Labour voters staying at home."