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LIVE: Canterbury City Council election counts

6.25pm - So that's it. All done. The Tories have secured a huge majority of 21 - a result they could have only have dreamed of yesterday morning.

To find out what it means for the Canterbury district and for all the reaction pick up next Thursday's Gazette.

FINAL RESULTS

6,17pm - Nick Eden-Green claims the Canterbury results are unrepresentative, saying: "We fought a local election on local lines. the vote went on national lines. We were lucky in Wincheap.

Charlotte MacCaul and Nick Eden-Green won in Wincheap
Charlotte MacCaul and Nick Eden-Green won in Wincheap

"We are sad at what's happened overall to left-of-centre parties all over Canterbury, and I include Green and Labour.

"I think it's an unrepresentative result overall given votes cast and candidates elected." 

6.15pm - And that's your lot. The day ends yellow as the Lib Dems, with Charlotte MacCaul and Nick-Eden Green, take both seats in Wincheap, but it's the Tories celebrating a huge majority.

WINCHEAP - 2 SEATS

6.05pm - As expected, both Sturry seats taken by the Tories, Georgina Glover and Heather Taylor.

Ms Taylor said: "It's nice to know they appreciate all the work we put in over the years. My patch has grown so I need to get my head around that and see what I can do to help in those other areas."

STURRY - 2 SEATS

5.45pm - Tories comfortably take both seats in Herne and Broomfield. Robert Jones and Sharron Sonnex victorious.

Mrs Sonnex says: "I never take anything for granted. I'm proud to be serving for the next four years."

HERNE AND BROOMFIELD - 2 SEATS

5.33pm - After retaining his seat, Alan Baldock says: "It's been a rollercoaster of a day with the way the results have gone.

"Labour consistently coming a close second; that's important. It shows there's still a strong Labour vote in the Canterbury district."

Alan Baldock and Jean Butcher
Alan Baldock and Jean Butcher

5.31pm - What did I say? There is more red on the board as Labour win BOTH seats in Northgate ward. Huge cheers around the Westgate Hall.

NORTHGATE - 2 SEATS

5.21pm - The Tories and Stuart Walker take Little Stour and Adisham. Four wards still to come....but they might not be blue. Really.

LITTLE STOUR AND ADISHAM - 1 SEAT

5.15pm - Brian Baker says he was surprised with the result in Gorrell ward.

"There were so many candidates. I put it down to our hard work. It gives us the opportunity to expand on some of the work we've been doing such as with the oyster festival and the Whitstable Maritime group."

Ashley Clark added: "It was a damn close run thing but I think ultimately it was down to candidates with a reputation for doing things for their constituents. Actions speak louder than words."

4.55pm - IT'S ALL HAPPENING AT ONCE! Three more results in and there is red, repeat, there is red on the Canterbury district election map.

Labour pinch one of the three seats in Gorrell Ward, but the Tories secure the other two, plus one each in Reculver and Swalecliffe.

Not quite sure what Ian Taylor did, or didn't do, for the people ofWhitstable? I suspect Ukip's Nick Bond nabbed a few of his votes.

GORRELL - 3 SEATS

Agentsand candidates gather around returning officer Colin Carmichael
Agentsand candidates gather around returning officer Colin Carmichael

SWALECLIFFE - 1 SEAT

RECULVER - 1 SEAT

4.41pm - Andrew Cook and Joe Howes say they're surprised with the scale of the Tory victory in Heron Ward.

Mr Cook said: "All the hard work we've put in over the last four years has paid off - and the hard work canvassing. 

"We must have knocked on most doors in our ward, and there are about 5,000.

"We want to work on anti-social behaviour and make sure there's enough affordable housing. We want to work to deliver on all the promises we made."

4.39pm - This is what it looks like at the minute. Labour with 22% of the vote, but no seats. Alan Baldock could be in with a chance of changing that in Northgate ward.

SEATS WON SO FAR

4.18pm - BREAKING: That's the majority, folks. Three more seats in Heron ward brings the Tories up to 22....with 14 still to be announced. 

It's been easier than anyone predicted, and Andrew Cook has polled the most votes of any candidate so far.

HERON - 3 SEATS

4.12pm - A huge Conservative majority in Chestfield as they secure another two seats. Pat Todd is one of the winners, and is also rumoured to fancy being the new leader.

CHESTFIELD - 2 SEATS

3.48pm - The Canterbury district is looking very blue.

Terry Westgate celebrates his win with Tory supporter Sally Pickersgill
Terry Westgate celebrates his win with Tory supporter Sally Pickersgill

3.43pm - Two more for the Tories, but a decent effort from Labour.

ST STEPHEN'S - 2 SEATS

3.12pm - It's all too much for Roger Gale after a long, long night in Thanet. Someone should probably give him a poke.

Roger Gale catches forty winks
Roger Gale catches forty winks

3.07pm - Winning Tory Steve Williams has paid tribute to beaten Lib Dem Paula Vickers, who narrowly lost out in the tight battle for Barton ward.

He said: "Barton ward has always been close. Paula Vickers served very well.

"She came so close. It's been very difficult. We've fought against the Local Plan.

"I think people have trusted us from that. To take somewhere like Barton ward and to get three seats is astonishing."

3.05pm - John Brazier agrees national feeling against the Lib Dems probably helped him get in, saying: "That's probably a fair thing to say. The bigger turnout helped.

"We're just very grateful to the people of Westgate ward for voting as they did."

3.03pm - Another disgruntled losing candidate, Lid Dem Ida Linfield, claims she was told Julian Brazier's son, John, was only put up in Westgate ward as a "joke".

She says: "This was a local election decided by a national vote. I was told by somebody within the Tory camp that they put Julian Brazier s son up as a joke to confuse the electorate. 

"If that's true it's a very cavalier way to treat the electorate.I hope he's up to the job. I did my best."

2.59pm - Beaten Green Party candidate Dave Cocozza says the Tories are looking after the aging and not the youth in Blean Forest, saying they did "sod all" to canvass the University of Kent, adding: "I don't think it's fair at all."

Winning trio Amy Baker, Ben Fitter and George Metcalfe don't look too fussed...

Ben Fitter, Amy Baker and George Metcalfe toast success in Blean Forest
Ben Fitter, Amy Baker and George Metcalfe toast success in Blean Forest

2.50pm - Three more Tory seats and a clean sweep in Blean Forest. The Green Party had been canvassing heavily and were tipped to challenge, but, as you can see, it wasn't much of a challenge....

BLEAN FOREST - 3 SEATS

2.45pm - This is how it's shaping up with 15 of the 39 seats so far announced. The Tories need just eight more to secure a majority, and the smart money's on them getting it comfortably with the Lib Dems in "meltdown", as one party member has put it.

2.31pm - Fresh from his success in Nailbourne ward, Simon Cook has signed his nomination forms to be next leader of the Canterbury Conservatives, and with it no doubt leader of the new council.

The Tory group will take a vote at its AGM on Tuesday night.

2.25pm - And here's the happy, and no doubt relieved, trio.

Oliver Fawcett, Louise Jones and Steven Williams won in Barton ward.
Oliver Fawcett, Louise Jones and Steven Williams won in Barton ward.

2.22pm - No wonder they needed two recounts. Tories take all three seats in ridiculously tight battle with Labour and the Lib Dems.

BARTON - 3 SEATS

2.10pm - Second recount underway for Canterbury's Barton Ward. Interesting.

2.05pm - Michael Dixey, who found himself sandwiched between the two Tories in Westgate, says: "It's been a Lib Dem seat for 35 years, but was unfortunately hit by the national swing.

"We ran a good campaign, but I'm just utterly gutted for Ida."

1.59pm - The Lib Dems have won their first seat, but stalwart Ida Linfield has lost hers, with John Brazier - the son of Julian - romping home in first.

WESTGATE - 2 SEATS

1.21pm - A bit of a lull in the results coming in, but four-month-old Linden Cornell is hoping for some Labour success. He looks about as happy as Ed Miliband, though.

Four-month-old Linden Cornell waiting for Labour's first win
Four-month-old Linden Cornell waiting for Labour's first win

12.58pm - Rosemary Doyle, tipped to be the next council leader, says after winning: "I've been serving for 16 years so people have got to know me. 

Rosemary Doyle is tipped to be the new council leader
Rosemary Doyle is tipped to be the new council leader

"I live in the ward and take part in village life.I think that helps." 

She adds the ward is in need of upgraded broadband and mobile reception.

12.52pm - And another two, and no surprise as Rosemary Doyle and Robert Thomas ease to victory in Chartham and Stone Street - the Tories' safest ward.

CHARTHAM AND STONE STREET - 2 SEATS

12.46pm - Fresh from victory, former policeman Colin Spooner tells us: "It was team effort and hard work and getting out there and meeting the electorate that voted us in that won it for us.

"I will listen to any questions from the people that elected us and if I can do anything for them while serving as a councillor I will do that."

12.44pm - Two more seats for the Tories as they take Seasalter ward. Stephen Bartley and Colin Spooner see off the challenge of Ukip's Mike Bull.

SEASALTER - 2 SEATS

12.31pm - As expected, Jeanette and Ian Stockley take the two seats for the Conservatives, edging Ukip into third. 

BELTINGE - 2 SEATS

12.01pm - So that's four seats decided. Ukip 2-2 Tories. Both of Ukip's wins have come in Herne Bay, where they were expected to do well.

12.28pm - Beltinge ward results expected imminently. Ukip will have their work cut out to take this from the Tories.

11.42am - He may have won, but David Hirst says he takes "no pleasure" in beating his former Tory colleague.

Ukip's David Hirst outside the count.
Ukip's David Hirst outside the count.

"I honestly thought I might lose," he admits.

"I've worked with Robert Bright a lot and it gives me no pleasure beating him.

"I'm juggling a lot of balls in the air as an active councillor.If I'd lost, those balls would have dropped."

11.25am - Ukip's David Hirst has taken Greenhill from the Tories - and it's another close one with just 42 votes in it. Hirst won the seat for the Conservatives in 2010 but defected after a run-in with council leader John Gilbey.

GREENHILL - 1 SEAT

11.12am - That's two seats to the Conservatives and one to Ukip. 18 to go.

A victorious Mr Wimble said: "It's all about community and not about politics.

"I have been around a long time and want to get things done and get Herne Bay what it deserves."

Ukip's Geoff Wimble gives the thumbs up
Ukip's Geoff Wimble gives the thumbs up

11.10am - We've got another result in and it couldn't be closer. Ukip's Geoff Wimble takes West Bay by ONE vote over Tory Peter Vickery-Jones. Ouch!

WEST BAY - 1 SEAT 

11.03am - And he's not ruling out a ministerial appointment.

"It's up to David Cameron if he wants me as a minister," he said.

"I don't know his plans but if he wants to put me back in the Ministry of Defence, it would be a privilege."

11.01am - Fresh from his comfortable win last night, Julian Brazier is at the count and has been telling us of the challenges faced locally.

Chuffed: Conservative MP Julian Brazier
Chuffed: Conservative MP Julian Brazier

"The first is to keep a careful eye on what is proposed with the hospital," he said.

"Another is the continuing problem with our flood defences.

"People do not really know, other than those affected, how close we came to serious problems.

"There are huge issues with transport in the city.

"The problems are chronic. A new Wincheap sliproad would be of huge benefit and closure of the barracks offers an opportunity for some relief." 

10.52am - Here's how close it was...

NAILBOURNE - 1 SEAT

10.51am - And Cook has it, edging out Sole by just 75 votes. The Lib Dems have been knocked to the canvas nationally, and they're already on the ropes in Canterbury.

Council leader Simon Cook
Council leader Simon Cook

10.45am - Next up is Nailbourne ward, where we're expecting a tight contest between Tory Simon Cook and Lib Dem Mike Sole.

Both are already councillors, but they've been forced to go head-to-head by the boundary changes.

The city council election count at the Westgate Hall
The city council election count at the Westgate Hall

10.39am - And here's that result in full.

TANKERTON - 1 SEAT

10.37am - And the first result is in, and it's not a surprising one. Conservative Neil Baker wins comfortably in the slightly reconfigured Tankerton ward, telling us: "I hope to be a voice of Tankerton in the council, not a voice of the council in Tankerton." 

Tory Neil Baker happy after his win in Tankerton
Tory Neil Baker happy after his win in Tankerton

10.19am - The counting is underway. Repeat, the counting is underway.

10.05am - The local Conservatives are looking to secure another majority, and 20 seats will get them there with the total number available in Canterbury, Herne Bay and Whitstable dropping from 50 to 39.

10am - General election fever is dying down, but after a long, long night we're back at the Westgate Hall for the Canterbury City Council elections.

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