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Local council election results in Kent


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The political map of Kent has seen the Conservative dominance in the county loosened after elections which saw an unexpected surge in support for the Green Party and a rise in the number of independent councillors.

The Conservatives hung on to control of eight councils: Ashford, Dover, Dartford, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Malling; Medway; Canterbury; Sevenoaks.

But it lost out to Labour in Gravesham and three councils it did run ended up with no one party in control: Swale; Folkestone and Hythe and Thanet.

There was no change in Maidstone, which remained a hung council.

The results saw three Conservative council leaders lose their seats:

Andrew Bowles, who led Swale, lost out to the Green Party in his ward; Simon Cook, the leader of Canterbury Council was edged out by the Liberal Democrats and David Jukes, the leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, lost his seat to be independent Tunbridge Wells Alliance.

The big winners where the Green Party, which before the election had just one single councillor in Kent but ended up with 15 seats. Its biggest breakthrough came in Folkestone and Hythe, where it gained six seats.

It also claimed the scalp of the former Conservative leader of Swale council Andrew Bowles.

There was bad news for Ukip, which had 14 councillors but ended up with just three councillors and returned none in Thanet, which it had taken control of after the election in 2015.

Of the independent groups, the biggest winner was the Swale Independents, which took 10 seats.

There were mixed fortunes for Labour. It won control of Gravesham but made modest progress in other councils, such as Medway where it had some hope of ousting the Conservatives but in the end increased its numbers from 15 to 20.

And there was mixed results for the Liberal Democrats, which returned 36 councillors.

Ukip has lost nine councillors, four from Medway and five in Folkestone and Hythe.

More than 500 seats were up for grabs across the county, with all district and borough councils in Kent holding ballots.

You can also see more detailed results for your area on the links underneath and following the #kentvote19 hashtag on Twitter.

You can find more detailed results for all of Kent's councils here:

LIVE UPDATES - refresh page for updates

8.44pm

One council which did stay blue was Ashford but it was not without losses of some key Conservative figures.

8.42pm

The story of the day for Gravesham Borough Council, where Labour seized control.

7.26pm

Wonder what "current circumstances" Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke is referring to?

7.22pm

The MPs are now all having their say on the results. South Thanet's Craig Mackinlay praising his fellow Tories, who failed to win a majority.

5.49pm

Canterbury is also still a Conservative council despite the party leader losing his seat.

The scores on the doors were:

Conservatives: 23 seats

Labour: 10 seats

Lib Dems: 6 seats

#KentVote19

5.42pm

All the seats have been declared in Thanet and no single party has been left with overall control. The largest party are the Conservatives.

5.38pm

Paul On Politics has had four guests on the sofa today to discuss the madness of the past day

5.36pm

Then again...

5.32pm

It looks like there will be a change in power over in Thanet.

5.12pm

Gravesham Borough Council has been won by Labour from the Conservatives.

4.41pm

Here's a little reminder of what happened in Folkestone and Hythe over night

4.34pm

As things stand the Conservatives have kept control over Ashford, Dartford, Dover, Medway and Tunbridge Wells.

No party managed to get an overall majority in Maidstone and Folkestone and Hythe and although some wards still need to be declared, no one can take control of Swale either.

Votes are still being counted for the five remaining councils. Will there be more upsets to come?

4.24pm

It's getting tense in Gravesham.

4.21pm

The Conservatives have retained control of Dover District Council.

3.55pm

The final results for Ashford are:

Conservative: 26

Ashford Independent: 11

Labour: 7

Green: 2

Independent: 1

Ukip: 0

Liberal Democrats: 0

3.51pm

More surprises in Ashford this afternoon as the Greens win the final seat announced

3.32pm

Vocal and leading councillor in Ashford has lost his seat. The former portfolio holder missed out by just one vote in the contest for Furley.

Graham Galpin
Graham Galpin

3.15pm

Huge result coming out of Swale as it's confirmed council leader Andrew Bowles has lost his seat. He has represented his ward since 1987.

2.55pm

The Conservative county councillor Bryan Sweetland has lost his seat on Gravesham council:

2.17pm

Yet more excitement on Canterbury City Council, where a recount is underway in Tankerton.

2pm:

Analysis by our political editor Paul Francis on the results so far:

My ballot box takeaways:

  • The Conservatives have suffered losses but haven't gone into meltdown completely;
  • Labour has made modest gains but hasn't made up the ground it had probably hoped for;
  • The Green party have put down roots in Kent for the first time in numbers;
  • Independent groups have benefited from disenchantment with the mainstream parties;
  • The Liberal Democrats are back on the political map of Kent albeit from a low base

1.50pm

WATCH: Dartford Labour leader reacts to losing his seat

1.47pm

1.45pm

1.35pm

WATCH: Reaction to Kent's most significant council result

1.30pm

LISTEN: Here's a round up from kmfm of where we are to date with the local election results in Kent:

1.10pm:

Showing politics is a family affair...

1pm:

In another blow for the Conservatives, they lose a county council by-election in Sittingbourne:

12.45pm

The Conservatives retain control of Tunbridge Wells council..

12.38pm

Jubilant winner Mike Sole on defeating Conservative council leader Simon Cook:

12.18pm:

Simon Cook reacts to losing his seat

12.10pm:

Canterbury council leader Conservative Simon Cook has lost his seat to the Lib Dem Mike Sole

11.55am

11.50am

What are the odds of three Conservative council leaders losing their seats in Kent? If reports are to be believed, the odds might just be narrowing..

11.35am

Counting is underway in Ashford...but voter apathy reflected in shockingly low turn out in one ward. Something all politicians should be concerned about:

11.15am

Sounds like the Conservative leader of Swale Andrew Bowles may be fighting for survival - he was briefly suspended over a tweet in which he supported the right of far-right Tommy Robinson to free speech.

10.50am

The election has been characterised as "Brexit vs Bins" - in other words, local vs national. On the basis of results so far, I think the former edges out the latter which explains why both Labour and the Conservatives are suffering from "a plague on both your houses" syndrome.

10.30am

Medway Conservative Rupert Turpin warned before last night that support for the party was "evaporating" and activists were getting such a bad reaction on the doorstep, they had retreated to the safety of their local association office to stuff envelopes. It didn't seem to affect his own seat - he was re-elected as councillor for Rochester South and Horsted ward, with 1,498 votes.

10.20am

It sounds like there could be an interesting fight in Canterbury - sources say that the Conservatives who run the council are anxious about their prospects and are being challenged by the Lib Dems and Labour in key wards.

9.45am:

Ukip has not done well in the councils declared so far, losing the four members it had in Medway and losing five in Folkestone and Hythe. And it has just two candidates in Thanet which it won back in the heady days of 2015.

9.32am

Counting at the remaining Kent councils will start at around 10am - we're expecting that the results for Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells will come in first as they are councils with only 18 seats up for grabs. And for some reason Ashford starts its count as 12-ish.

9.29am

The Conservatives on Folkestone and Hythe District Council are seeking an alliance after a disastrous night where they lost 10 seats and overall control of the council. Full story here.

8.49am

A jubilant set of Green councillors in Folkestone, where the party has just won six seats on the district council.

8.02am

Here's what Folkestone and Hythe council leader Cllr David Monk had to say on a bruising night for his Conservative party, who lost 10 seats.

7.30am

Overall results for Folkestone and Hythe: Conservative 13, Labour 6, Green 6, Liberal Democrats 2, Ukip 2, and Independent 1

7.16am

The Tories lost four seats in the Dartford Borough Council elections and Labour, where notably the opposition group's leader Jonathon Hawkes lost his seat, has actually gained three since 2015. The other group is the Swanscombe and Greenhithe Residents' Association. Here's an outline of what happened.

7.15am

Here are the final results for Medway Council.

7am

Analysis from political editor Paul Francis:

"On the basis of the results so far it looks like being a mixed picture for Kent and Medway.

"The Conservatives have performed better than they might have expected, holding on to Medway and Dartford although with reduced majorities.

"That is likely to give them some confidence that it might not be quite as catastrophic as had expected.

"Labour may feel a little disappointed that while it made solid gains in Medway, it was not enough to push it over the finishing line in first place.

"The one big winner so far is the Green Party, which picked up six seats in Folkestone and Hythe, a result that might have been the consequence of a non-aggression pact with the Liberal Democrats."

6.30am

Key results so far:

Labour leader Jonathon Hawkes (Lab) loses his seat in Dartford, the Green Party gain six seats in Folkestone and Hythe, and the Tories hold onto control of Medway Council despite Labour making gains.

6.01am

Turnout for these local elections is forecast to be low, with many voters disillusioned with the handling of Brexit. Here is a list of potential places where there may be an upset in Kent.

6am

Counting got underway overnight at Dartford, Medway and Folkestone and Hythe councils. You can see how the results came in on the Dartford Messenger Twitter account, Folkestone & Hythe Express Twitter account and with our Medway local democracy reporter Dean Kilpatrick.

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