Election results across Kent and Medway
Labour activists at
the Gravesham count this morning
Kent's political map was redrawn today with the Conservatives
losing overall control of two key councils.
The first major upset of election night saw
Gravesham falling to Labour.
Party leader Ed Miliband then
made another appearance in the town to congratulate his
It was the third time in three
weeks he's been there.
Shortly after 8am, results from Thanet showed
the council was left in no overall control.
The Tories won 27 wards - one more than Labour - leaving
the balance of power with three independent councillors.
One key ward was won by just two votes.
Click here to see the full results in Thanet.
In Gravesham, Labour has taken control of
the council from the Conservatives, with 25 seats to Labour
and 19 Conservative.
Labour credited national disatisfaction with the Tories for the
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the county, ward results have been
trickling in throughout the day.
In Swale there has been a shock in the
shape of long-standing Lib Dem councillor Elvie Lowe losing her set
to Labour rival Tony Winckless after 24 years.
She believes it is a reflection of
what is going on nationally and how unhappy everyone is with the
She said: "I had seen it coming so
I had got myself ready for it but I'm still very disappointed."
In Shepway, a clean sweep for the Tories
saw them increase their majority on
The Conservatives won 44 seats, up five from last time, with
Liberal Democrats losing all their five wards to come away with
The People First party retained their two seats, while Labour
walked away without a seat.
While Tories celebrated, the night was a personal disaster for
Lib Dem group leader Lynne Beaumont, who lost both her district and
town council seats.
Fighting back tears, she said: "I think people voted on national
issues rather than local.
"People are not happy with what is happening nationally and it
is hard when nationally you are an unpopular party."
Tory MP Damian Collins, who was at the count, said: "It has been
a good night and a reflection of what the council has done in the
last four years."
In Medway the Conservatives have held onto
power. They increased their seats and now have 35 councillors.
Labour have 15, Liberal Democrats three and there are two
That gives the Tories an overall majority of 15 - compared to 11
before the election.
Reyman Chishti gives the thumbs up
Gravesham election count
and result at Woodville Halls
Results announcements were hampered by a
delay in clearance from the AV regional returning officer.
The Tories also held on in Dover and
And in Dartford, it was a clear victory for the
Tories - with the Blues securing three times more seats than
The final result showed the Conservatives won or retained 31
wards, with Labour securing 10 seats and Swanscombe and Greenhithe
Residents' Association winning four wards.
Geoffrey Prout, Labour leader, said: "We are disappointed as we
lost three seats. It was a tough election. It wasn't good for us.
We gained extra votes in some areas so in some ways we are making
Jeremy Kite, Conservative leader, said: "We are absolutely
delighted. It shows that the public think we are a council that
The English Democrats put forward 24 candidates in Dartford's
elections, the highest in the whole of England. But not one was
Meanwhile around Canterbury,
Tories were came out on top as early results were recorded this
The Conservatives retained control of Canterbury city council -
and taken an extra eight seats.
Out of the 50 seats which were up for grabs, the Conservatives
took 37, the Liberal Democrats took 10 seats and the Labour party
It is a disappointing result for the Lib Dems, who lost nine
seats, but positive for Labour, who gained one seat.
Meanwhile, in Swale, blue is definitely the
colour, with the Conservatives retaining control of the borough
With all 47 wards declared, the Tories have 32 seats followed by
Labour on 13 and Lib Dems on one.
There are also an independent.
A shock was the defeat of long-standing Lib Dem councillor,
Elvie Lowe, after 24 years representing Milton Regis.
She feels she is a victim of the nationwide anti-Lib Dem
One of the Murston seats had to be decided after six
Dave Banks and Ed Gent were drawn at 420.
Eventually, they agreed that was the figure and so both names
were written down and returning officer Abdool Kara pulled one of
them out - which was classed as an additional vote. Ed's name came
He said: "I am very proud to be an elected member again.
"I expected it to be close, I thought maybe 15 or 20, but not to
be dead at 420.
"I had my name pulled out which means I get to represent my ward
for another four years."
Mr Banks said: "I feel gutted. If I had lost by 50 or 60 votes
it would not have been so bad. But to go out like this is a
"I have to accept the verdict because they recounted so many
times and that was the only way to decide."
For Sheppey and Sittingbourne wards, visit http://www.timesguardian.co.uk/
Ashford's Conservatives strengthened their
hold on the borough council, increasing their overall majority from
15 to 17 in the election.
The Tories won 30 out of 43 seats, up from the 28 gained in the
Ashford Independents increased their seats from four to just
five despite launching a major challenge to the administration over
the scale of local housing development.
Labour bounced back gaining five seats against two in 2007.
And the Liberal Democrats were flattened, with their count
diving from seven to two.
In Tonbridge and Malling the Conservatives
trounced the opposition, with 48 Tories voted in, against four
Liberal Democrats and one Labour member.
All 53 borough council seats were up for grabs,
with eight councillors standing down, 12 new councillors
elected and 41 councillors re-elected.
Out of a total borough electorate of 89,146 people, 39,966
(44.83%) turned out to vote.
Voters were also deciding whether to back plans to change the
way in which MPs are elected, with a referendum on whether the
current first past thee post system should be replaced with the
Across Kent, a total of 517 council seats were up for grabs.
Counting under way at
Medway Park, Gillingham
There were all-out elections in 12 councils while a third
of council seats were up for grabs in Maidstone and Tunbridge
Medway council also held an election with all 55 seats in the
unitary authority being contested.
The polls are seen as the first comprehensive
test of public opinion since the general election.
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