Merton Park Independents won a record number of votes in Merton Park, but with the swing to Labour, lost the balance of power.

Labour won no overall control of the council in 2010, but ran the town hall thanks to a deal with the independents.

Last Thursday's election saw Labour win a majority of seats after ousting Conservative incumbent councillors in Cannon Hill, Lower Morden and Abbey.

Peter Southgate, John Sargeant and Edward Foley will represent Merton Park constituents for the next four years after winning 64 per cent of votes, but will be less significant political players now Labour no longer needs their votes to pass decisions through council.

Councillor Southgate, leader of Merton Park Independents, said: "We'd always known that the balance of power was not in our control so although we had it from two councils in succession we didn't get complacent and I'm really quite confident that Stephen will continue to run a very inclusive adminstration."

He said he met with Merton Conservatives leader Oonagh Moulton yesterday and is keen to work with both Labour and the opposition.

But he said the independents would not consider entering into a coalition with any of the other parties.

He said: "The balance of power never really affected the way things got done in Merton Park.

"A lot of the things that matter to residents is down to the relationship with council officers and they have always been pretty responsive."

Coun Southgate said he has been asked to continue to chair the overview and scrutiny commission, which is designed to question decisions made by elected members.