Conservative leader of Tunbridge Wells council loses seat to UKIP
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
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
It comes after the County Town woke up to find nothing much had
changed after polling for the borough council elections
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
The Conservatives gained one seat from the Lib Dems in Heath
Ward and lost one to Labour, leaving them with no change overall on
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
Council leader Chris Garland survived his own election battle in
Shepway North, but with a much reduced majority.
See our interactive map
He said: “I’m very pleased we have retained our position despite
the national situation. The low turnout however is
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.”
Newly elected Labour Cllr Malcolm Mackay said: “I’m delighted.
There will be more of us now that we have pushed open the
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
The state of the parties in Maidstone
Lib Dems 19
Malcom Robertson (Lib
Barry Ginley (Con) 613
Fay Gooch (Ind)
Sue Black (Con) 182
Richard Ash (Con) 1340
Steve Gibson (Lab) 396
Geoffrey Samme (Lib Dem) 154
Boughton Monchelsea and Chart Sutton
Steve Munford (Ind) 707
Andrew Le Hegarat (Con) 192
Gill Annan (Lab)
Wendy Hinder (Con) 1167
Andrew Waldie (Green) 186
James Ross (Con) 443
Rob Field (Lib Dem) 407
Bruce Heald (Lab) 200
Coxheath and Hunton
John Wilson (Con) 794
Martin Rabicano (Lib Dem) 638
Stella Randall (Lab) 221
Denise Hay (Green) 114
Martin Cox (Lib
Paul Harper (Lab) 548
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
James Shalice (Green) 120
Denise Joy (Lib
Paul Butcher (Con) 374
Marianna Poliszczuk (Lab) 233
Marden and Yalding
Steve McLoughlin (Con)
Edith Davis (Lab) 288
Ralph Austin (Lib Dem) 179
Jenni Paterson (Lib Dem) 907
Keith Adkinson (Lab) 206
Carol Vizzard (Ind) 115
Sarah Goodwin (Green)
Daniel Moriarty (Ind) 319
Debbie Fernandez (Lab)
Gary Cooke (Con) 214
Christopher Garland (Con) 742
Jim Grogan (Lab) 595
Gary Butler (Nat
Malcolm McKay 418
Bob Hinder (Con) 265
Geoff Licence (Ind) 260
Ian Chittenden (Lib Dem) 1306
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