POST-election celebrations will have to be put on hold following a decision to delay the release of Thursday's local election results until around noon on Friday.

With local and European elections taking place on the same day verification procedures are unlikely to be completed until the early hours of Friday morning.

A Wirral Council spokeswoman said: "We thought it would be better for the tellers to start fresh on Friday morning."

The results of the European elections will be announced on Sunday.

Labour are strongly favoured to retain control on the council even though they are defending in 11 of the 22 seats available.

They presently have 36 council seats – 15 more than the Conservatives on 21.

The Liberal Democrats trail a long way behind with six seats and there is one Independent councillor.

The Tories defend in two-thirds of their seats and the Lib-Dems battle to hold on to two seats.

UKIP and Wirral Green Party are both contesting all 22 seats in the elections.

Three Independent candidates will be seeking election in Rock Ferry, Seacombe and West Kirby and Thurstaston.

A further two hopefuls will be fighting under the Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts banner.