Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Counting gets under way at Horntye Park sports complex last night.

Ukip gathers votes but no seats

Unlike in other parts of the country, there was no breakthrough for Ukip, the UK Independence Party, in the local elections in Hastings, where it lost its only seat to the Tories. With 16 seats up for grabs, Labour gained one from the Tories, ending up with 11 against the Tories’ five. Nick Terdre reports.

UKIP started the night with one seat, for Ashdown ward, which it gained last year with the defection of John Wilson from the Tories for whom he had won it in 2010. Hastings would be a target for Ukip, party leader Nigel Farage said at the time, but last night it ended empty-handed, as voters in Ashdown turned down Wilson in favour of Tory candidate Michael Edwards and it failed in the other six wards where it fielded candidates.

However Ukip, which had no candidates in the 2012 local elections, certainly made its presence felt, coming second in four seats, including Central St Leonards which was held by council leader Jeremy Birch with a majority of 485.

Labour retained its local dominance, holding 10 seats and gaining one in Silverhill, where Colin Fitzgerald eased home with a 204 majority over Tory candidate Matthew Lock. With half the 32 council seats not involved in yesterday’s elections, the new composition of the council is Labour 24 seats and Conservatives eight.

The Liberal Democrats, as expected, found their vote squeezed by the larger parties and Ukip. They came last in 15 of the seats, their sole saving grace being Castle ward where Nick Perry took second place behind Labour. In the four seats when the Greens fielded a candidate, they polled much better than the LibDems.

Of a total electorate of just over 61,000, 23,184 voted, a turnout of 38%. Turnout was highest in St Helens, at 49.5%, and lowest in Hollington, at 29.6%.

Of the two HOT writers who stood as Labour candidates, Chris Connelley in Maze Hill and John Knowles in West St Leonards, both lost to their Tory rivals, though Knowles made it a close race, reducing the 2010 majority of 275 to just 31 votes. (HOT, of course, has no party political affiliation.)


Winning candidates

Ashdown Michael Edwards (Conservative hold, majority 241)

Baird Mike Turner  (Labour hold, majority 323)

Braybrooke Sue Beaney (Labour hold, majority 454)

Castle Lee Clark (Labour hold, majority 306)

Central St Leonards Jeremy Birch (Labour hold, majority 485)

Conquest Liam Atkins (Conservative hold, majority 294)

Gensing Andrew Cartwright (Labour hold, majority 541)

Hollington Bruce Dowling (Labour hold, majority 172)

Maze Hill Rob Lee (Conservative hold, majority 172)

Old Hastings John Hodges (Labour hold, majority 519)

Ore Michael Wincott (Labour hold, majority 273)

St Helens Matthew Lock (Conservative hold, majority 109)

Silverhill Colin Fitzgerald (Labour gain, majority 204)

Tressell Tania Charman (Labour hold, majority 419)

West St Leonards Matthew Beaver (Conservative hold, majority 31)

Wishing Tree Alan Roberts (Labour hold, majority 453)

For full results, see the HBC website.

Posted 12:44 Friday, May 23, 2014 In: Home Ground

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