Liberal Democrats gained three council seats from the Conservatives in the biggest set of local by-elections since the beginning of the year.
Meanwhile, the Conservatives took two seats from independents - one previously elected as Conservative and the other previously elected as Ukip.
Altogether, 14 contests took place in the latest council by-elections.
Lib Dems defeated Tories in two polls at Teignbridge District Council, in one case by just 11 votes.
Voting in the Chudleigh ward by-election which followed the resignation of a Conservative councillor was: LD 575, C 564, Lab 262. The turnout was 27.9%.
Voting in the Dawlish Central & North East ward poll following the resignation of a Tory councillor was: LD 1,287, C 535. Turnout 24.3%.
The third Lib Dem victory came at North Norfolk District Council in a by-election in Worstead ward following the resignation of a Conservative councillor.
Voting was: LD 509, C 118, Lab 73. Turnout 35.7%.
Tories gained a seat on Tendring District Council (St Paul's ward) in a contest following the resignation of an independent councillor. He had been elected for Ukip, subsequently defected to Labour but switched to independent last year.
Voting was: C 378, Ind Andrews 160, Ind Hones 134, Lab 114, LD 79, Ukip 71, Green 20. Turnout 25.5%.
Conservatives easily regained a Lancashire County Council seat in a by-election in Morecambe North division prompted by the resignation of an independent county councillor who previously had been elected for the Tories.
Voting was: C 1,332, LD 809, Lab 580.
Elsewhere, Conservatives held seats at East Northamptonshire (Higham Ferrers Lancaster ward), Northamptonshire (Higham Ferrers division), and West Oxfordshire (Carterton South ward).
Labour held four seats - at Doncaster (Armthorpe ward), Halton (Halton Castle), North East Derbyshire (Grassmoor), and York (Holgate).
A candidate for West Ewell and Ruxley Residents' Association held a seat in the Ruxley ward at Epsom and Ewell.
North of the border, the SNP held a Falkirk Council seat in a by-election in the Bonnybridge & Larbert ward following the death of SNP councillor and Provost of Falkirk Tom Coleman.
The successful candidate was his son, Niall Coleman.
The party topped the first-preference votes in the poll using the single transferable vote (STV) voting system.