Tories hold Winchester as UKIP make an impact

Daily Echo: Tories hold Winchester as UKIP make an impact Tories hold Winchester as UKIP make an impact

THERE weren't many purple UKIP rosettes on show but the party has arrived as a political force on Winchester City Council.

The anti-EU party gained three second-place finishes in the elections counted at the Guildhall today and were only once knocked into last place.

They stood in 11 of the 19 contests and although they did not directly affect any result they raked in more than 3,100 votes.

Happiest however were the Conservatives who tightened their control of the city council edging ahead of main rivals, the Liberal Democrats. Bwefore the poll they had each stood on 27.

When the last result was announced the Tories were on 28 seats, up one, whilst the Lib Dems has slipped two to 25, after also losing a seat to Labour.

The Tories had been on the verge of taking overall control, with the crucial 29th seat, but their candidate in The Alresfords, Lisa Griffiths, was just unable to oust Margot Power, falling short by 79 votes.

UKIP had a respectable showing, finishing second in three wards and last only once. They polled more than 600 votes in Denmead.

Labour now has three councillors, their highest since 2004, with Clive Gosling winning in St John and All Saints ward that covers the Highcliffe and Winnall estates.

Conservative leader Rob Humby, who has replaced the retiring Keith Wood, said: “I'm delighted. The whole team have worked hard. We are now the largest group on the council.”

It was fifth time lucky for Helen Osborne, a mother of one in her 30s, who won the St Barnabas seat from the Lib Dems after a recount. She said: “It's so nice to be finally here.”

Labour leader Chris Pines said: “We are delighted, but not surprised as we were quietly confident. Our team hit every house in the St Johns ward.”

Kelsie Learney, Lib Dem leader, put a bright gloss on the results, saying her party had polled more votes across the district as a whole. “The Tories are still in overall control so we have still got influence,” she said.

Chris Barton-Briddon, secretary of the Winchester branch of UKIP, said: “We have done pretty well. It is down to continuous work by a few people but our numbers are growing.”

Turnout was boosted by coinciding with the Euro elections and twice topped 50 per cent, in The Alresfords, St Barnabas and Oliver's Battery and Badger Farm.

In a byelection at Alresford Town Council former city councillor Annie Saunders beat Steve Deeming and former town council chairman Robin Atkins.

Comments (1)

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1:34pm Sat 24 May 14

NC Fan4Life says...

Why are the three main parties not listening to the general public, they are being arrogant with their dismissal of UKIP rise in popularity by not addressing the general concern about Europe generally, open boarders and immigration.
I think you will find that people like myself voted UKIP as a protest against the three other parties policies on the European Union.
Many of us want Britain to pull back from Europe we want to retreat back to a Common Market situation not this slow integration towards being a European State. We gave up our close trading partners when we entered the Common Market but recognize the importance of close trading agreements with Europe. However we are fed up with being dictated to by Brussels, we want our independence back but retain the close trading agreements.
We are a nation of entrepreneurs and small businesses, we are used to 'going it alone'. Europe seems to only benefit large organisations with increasing red tape bureaucracy that only those conglomerates can afford to implement.
A Yes-No referendum vote is too simple and would not satisfy those of us who actually want something in between.
Why are the three main parties not listening to the general public, they are being arrogant with their dismissal of UKIP rise in popularity by not addressing the general concern about Europe generally, open boarders and immigration. I think you will find that people like myself voted UKIP as a protest against the three other parties policies on the European Union. Many of us want Britain to pull back from Europe we want to retreat back to a Common Market situation not this slow integration towards being a European State. We gave up our close trading partners when we entered the Common Market but recognize the importance of close trading agreements with Europe. However we are fed up with being dictated to by Brussels, we want our independence back but retain the close trading agreements. We are a nation of entrepreneurs and small businesses, we are used to 'going it alone'. Europe seems to only benefit large organisations with increasing red tape bureaucracy that only those conglomerates can afford to implement. A Yes-No referendum vote is too simple and would not satisfy those of us who actually want something in between. NC Fan4Life
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