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Conservatives seek alliance on Folkestone and Hythe District Council after poor local election results

By Molly Mileham-Chappell

Conservatives on Folkestone and Hythe District Council are hoping to form alliances with councillors from other parties after losing 10 seats in yesterday's local elections.

Cllr David Monk, leader of the council, has revealed hopes to for an administration following the local election count for the district overnight, which saw a big political shake up in the coastal region.

With six new Green Party councillors and six new Labour councillors in the mix, as well as two Liberal Democrats, two Ukip and one Independent - the Conservatives are now seeking outside support to maintain an overall majority.

Scroll down for audio

Harry Peet from KMTV takes a look at what happened

An announcement on this is due by Tuesday, he told KentOnline.

Thousands of residents turned out to the polling stations across the district yesterday to have their say on who should represent them amid one of the most turbulent and unpredictable political backdrops across the country in years.

Counters stayed up all night at the Three Hills Sports Park to validate the ballot papers after voting closed at 10pm.

The night got off to a slow start with the first result being announced after 1am. Full results were announced around 5am.

The council has now filled its 30 seats up for grabs, and Conservative leader Cllr David Monk narrowly held on to his Folkestone Central ward seat.

One hundred hopefuls have spent the last few weeks trying to rally public support as part of their campaign, made up of 30 Conservative, 30 Labour, 15 Liberal Democrat, 15 Green, three Ukip and seven Independent or other candidates.

Cllr David Monk (Con) (9576936)
Cllr David Monk (Con) (9576936)

Before the election yesterday, there were 23 Conservative councillors, making it the party with majority control. The remaining seven seats were occupied by four Ukip councillors, two Independent councillors and one Foundation Party councillor, Cllr Mary Lawes.

But Mary Lawes lost her seat in the Folkestone Harbour ward after a double Labour gain.

Meanwhile, The Greens saw success in Hythe and the newly elected councillors explained their hopes to challenge the council on environmental issues.

Across the board however, turnout was deemed low - something Cllr Monk considered to be part of a 'protest vote'.

Town and parish council elections also took place yesterday, and the results will be counted tomorrow.

Elections for Folkestone and Hythe council are held every four years.

The polls across Kent have seen the biggest test of electoral opinion since 2017 and are taking place in the shadow of Brexit.

Elections are being held in every council across the county- with the exception of Kent County Council - with most having “all out” polls in which every ward is up for grabs.

For a live blog of the Folkestone and Hythe District Council results as they happened, click here.

For the complete picture across the county, click here.

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