By Claire Smyth
They are tantalisingly short – five seats short – of an overall majority.
Brighton Pavilion Green MP Caroline Lucas attended the count, as did Brighton Kemptown Conservative MP Simon Kirby.
The Tories slipped from having 25 seats going into the election to 18. Labour’s gains and losses left them still on 13 seats and they are expected to support a Green administration as junior partners.
Bill Randall, the Green Party convenor, said: “We’re going to go out and celebrate now and then the hard work starts next week.
“We are the biggest party and we will meet as a group to discuss what we do next but we will clearly need to talk to the other parties.
“We will act in the interests of the community.
“Brighton has bucked the trend of small parties being squeezed since the last election.
“Brighton has shown it is different. We have a Green MP and if we can do it in Brighton then other places can do it as well.”
Mary Mears, the Conservative leader, paid tribute to candidates from all parties as well as to the officials who enabled the election to happen. She said: “We will be back!”
Labour group leader Gill Mitchell said: “Brighton and Hove is a unique city so these results were always going to be different.
“We are very very pleased with our share of the vote. Labour will certainly not disappear from any corner of the city. We are determined to do more.”