Published: 07:46, 04 May 2012 |
Updated: 09:43, 10 January 2014
The Conservative leader of Tunbridge Wells council has lost his seat to UKIP in a major shock.
Cllr Robert Atwood was defeated by just 46 votes in the Rusthall ward as counting continued this morning.
The winning candidate, Piers Wauchope - a criminal barrister and former Tory councillor in Camden - polled 533 votes against 487 for Mr Atwood, who had been leader for only a year.
Labour’s attempt to mount an offensive in the borough brought them just one victory.
It was the first time Labour had fielded a candidate in every seat of the Tory heartland and the onslaught landed them a victory in Southborough and High Brooms, where their candidate Alain Lewis fought off Conservative candidate Nasir Jamil.
Another surprise came in Pembury where Independent Mike Tomsett won one of the two seats up for grabs. The other was taken by Conservative Paul Barrington-King.
The Conservatives managed to stop the rot at this point by holding all their other seats, but the overwhelming feeling was the party had been given more than just a black eye.
UKIP made a breakthrough on the council at the last elections in Tunbridge Wells and now has two members.
A second leading Conservative has also lost his seat on Tunbridge Wells. Cllr Brian Ransley was defeated by the Lib Dems in Capel.
It comes after the County Town woke up to find nothing much had changed after polling for the borough council elections yesterday.
In an election marked by a very low turnout of just 29%, the only significant difference was the return of a Labour candidate to the council chamber after an absence of four years.
Labour took one seat with the election of Malcolm McKay in Shepway South.
The Conservatives gained one seat from the Lib Dems in Heath Ward and lost one to Labour, leaving them with no change overall on 30 seats.
The Lib Dems slipped two seats to 19 after they also lost Park Wood to an Independent after deciding not to field a candidate.
Both Labour and the Independents gained one.
It means overall the Tories’ position remains unchanged with a five seat majority over the combined total of opposition parties.
Council leader Chris Garland survived his own election battle in Shepway North, but with a much reduced majority.
He said: “I’m very pleased we have retained our position despite the national situation. The low turnout however is disappointing.”
Cllr Fran Wilson, the Lib Dem leader, felt her party had suffered because of the national situation. She said: “It’s frustrating, no matter how hard you work locally, people are still swayed by the national politics.”
In Boughton Monchelsea, the former Independent leader Mike Fitzgerald who retired at this election saw his nominated successor Steve Munford easily win the seat with the biggest turnout of the night, at 46%.
Both the Greens and Labour has been optimistic about wresting Fant from Tory Stephen Paine, but it was not to be. After four re-counts, Cllr Paine kept the seat with a 62 majority.
The Greens, UKIP and the National Front all failed to win a seat.
The state of the parties in Maidstone
Lib Dems 19
Malcom Robertson (Lib Dem) 1146
Barry Ginley (Con) 613
Wendy Hollands (Lab) 266
Fay Gooch (Ind) 722
Sue Black (Con) 182
Richard Ash (Con) 1340
Steve Gibson (Lab) 396
Ciaran Oliver (Green) 204
Geoffrey Samme (Lib Dem) 154
Boughton Monchelsea and Chart Sutton
Steve Munford (Ind) 707
Andrew Le Hegarat (Con) 192
Gill Annan (Lab) 39
Wendy Hinder (Con) 1167
Michael Beckwith (Lab) 357
Andrew Waldie (Green) 186
James Ross (Con) 443
Rob Field (Lib Dem) 407
Bruce Heald (Lab) 200
Robin Kinrade (Green) 141
Coxheath and Hunton
John Wilson (Con) 794
Martin Rabicano (Lib Dem) 638
Keith Woollven (UKIP) 222
Stella Randall (Lab) 221
Denise Hay (Green) 114
Martin Cox (Lib Dem) 1060
Tony Dennison (Con) 623
Hannah Patton (Green) 312
Stephen Paine (Con) 610
Paul Harper (Lab) 548
Stuart Jeffery (Green) 442
Irene Shepherd (Lib Dem) 311
Richard Thick (Con) 1001
Penny Kemp (Ind) 417
Heath (two seats)
Bryan Vizzard (Lib Dem) 499
Brian Moss (Con) 428
Mark Naghi (Lib Dem) 369
Scott Hahnefeld (Con) 349
Patrick Coates (Lab) 217
Richard Coates (Lab) 217
James Shalice (Green) 120
Denise Joy (Lib Dem) 649
Paul Butcher (Con) 374
Marianna Poliszczuk (Lab) 233
John Stanford (UKIP) 176
Wendy Lewis (Green) 113
Marden and Yalding
Steve McLoughlin (Con) 1106
Edith Davis (Lab) 288
Ian McDonald (Green) 199
Ralph Austin (Lib Dem) 179
Jenni Paterson (Lib Dem) 907
Jeff Tree (Con) 381
Keith Adkinson (Lab) 206
Daphne Parvin (Con) 442
Carol Vizzard (Ind) 115
Audrey Gardner (Lab) 84
Sarah Goodwin (Green) 66
Daniel Moriarty (Ind) 319
Debbie Fernandez (Lab) 276
Gary Cooke (Con) 214
Christopher Garland (Con) 742
Jim Grogan (Lab) 595
Stephen Muggeridge (Green) 167
Gary Butler (Nat Front) 97
Malcolm McKay 418
Bob Hinder (Con) 265
Geoff Licence (Ind) 260
Ian Chittenden (Lib Dem) 1306
Vianne Gibbons (Con) 757
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