FEWER than 100 votes separated the Conservatives and the UK Independence Party as the Tories upheld the highest share of the Wyre Forest vote by a thread.

The Conservatives remained the district’s largest party in terms of seats and share of the vote on 26 per cent with 6,715 but it was just 93 ahead of UKIP, which gained 6,622 votes - also 26 per cent.

Despite losing two seats, Independent Community and Health Concern maintained a healthy share of the vote with 5,343 but was pushed down to third, having gained the most at the last poll.

Labour, which won two seats, slumped to 18 per cent of the vote - the fourth highest share.

Conservative John Campion said his party had held on to the largest share of the vote, which was “great for a party in in national government” - which is traditionally punished in mid-term elections.

Labour’s Nigel Knowles said: “I think the UKIP phenomenon will pass and we will be in a strong position going into next year’s election.”

UKIP parliamentary spokesman Michael Wrench said: “This is a brilliant result and has been a long time coming for the branch. We only formed in 2008 and first stood locally in 2009 with only two people. This year has been solid and people who say we are just a protest vote are wrong.”

Independent Community and Health Concern’s Graham Ballinger admitted his group had lost some of the “anti-main three parties votes” to UKIP but vowed they would be back.

The share of the vote for the 2014 Wyre Forest District Council election was: Con - 26 per cent (6,715 votes), UKIP - 26 per cent (6,622), ICHC - 21 per cent (5,343), Labour - 18 per cent (4,616), Liberal - four per cent (1,083), Independent - three per cent (836), Green Party - one per cent (352), Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts - less than one per cent (76).