No change in city council control

BOTH the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are claiming moral victories in the Winchester City Council election.

But the Labour Party was left licking its wounds as it lost both of the seats that were up for re-election - leaving future mayor Chris Pines as the sole Labour figure on Winchester City Council.

The Lib Dems made the most of the Labour "collapse", with Alexis Fall and Adrian Hicks seizing St Luke's and St John and All Saints from Labour's David Smith and Antony de Peyer respectively.

The Lib Dems also won a seat in Compton and Otterbourne, where Eleanor Bell was elected ahead of Tory representative Murray MacMillan by 108 votes.

However, the Tories remain in control of the council. They hit back in Owlesbury and Curdridge with Robert Humby's 876 votes topping Liberal Democrat Ian Merrit's 498.

In Bishop's Waltham, Independent Colin Chamberlain beat off his nearest challenge, from Conservatives' Charlie Wright, by nearly 200 votes.

In all, the Lib Dems gained three seats and lost one, the Tories gained one and lost one and Labour lost two.

The percentage turn-out of voters was low across the board. Only Littleton and Harestock, where Lib Dem Kelsie Learney was re-elected, attracted more than 60 per cent of the public.

Denmead, St John and All Saints, St Luke and St Paul all failed to attract more than 40 per cent of residents to the polls.

George Beckett, the Conservative leader of the city council, said the elections had "consolidated" the Tories' position.

He said that "substantial gains" had been made in the last two years and added: "The more you win, the harder it gets."

Mr Beckett said he was surprised that the Conservatives "excellent young candidates in the town wards" had not done enough to win, despite bolstering the number of Tory voters.

"Unfortunately Labour collapsed and that allowed the Liberal Democrats to win two more votes. The Liberal Democrats have done extremely well over the collapse of the Labour vote," he said.

Martin Tod, Winchester's prospective parliamentary candidate for the Lib Dems, said he was "very encouraged" by the results.

He estimated that there had been a "4.5 per cent to five per cent swing" from the Tories to the Lib Dems and that the public had responded to the party's Greener, Safer, Fairer pledges.

"I think Labour has been hit very badly by what has happened nationally and that's hurt them. It's a very good day for the Liberal Democrats, we are very pleased with our progress and we are very positive and fired up about it."

For Labour, Chris Pines said: "Politics is all ups and downs but we can't deny we're very disappointed. The demographics have completely changed. Stanmore was once a large council estate. A fifth is now student occupation."

The Alresfords: Robin Atkins (Lab) 156 Ernie Jeffs (Con) 1271 David Samuel (UKIP) 203 Lucille Thompson (LD) 693

Bishop's Waltham: Colin Chamberlain (Ind) 995 Stephen Haines (Lab) 86 Roy Stainton (LD) 261 Charlie Wright (Con) 793

Colden Common and Twyford: Susan Evershed (Con) 838 Elaine Fullaway (Lab) 53 Jim Wagner (LD) 1280

Compton and Otterbourne: Chris Barton-Briddon (UKIP) 78 Eleanor Bell (LD) 861 Murray Macmillan (Con) 753 Clare McKenna (Lab) 16

Denmead: Patricia Stallard (Con) 1066 Anne Stoneham (LD) 404

Itchen Valley: Daniel (Neil) Baxter (Con) 628 John Clark (UKIP) 32 Andrew Thompson (LD) 153

Littleton and Harestock: Patrick Cunningham (Con) 704 Kelsie Learney (LD) 1007 Tessa Valentine (Lab) 31

Owslebury and Curdridge: Brian Fullaway (Lab) 42 Robert Humby (Con) 876 Ian Merritt (LD) 498

St Barnabas, Winchester: Eileen Berry (Con) 1230 Adrian Field (Lab) 72 Allan Mitchell (LD) 1069 Dave Walker-Nix (Green) 109

St Bartholomew, Winchester: Timothy Curran (Lab) 93 Abdul Kayum (Con) 787 Sue Nelmes (LD) 1142 Rupert Pitt (no party) 77

St John and All Saints, Winchester: Antony de Peyer (Lab) 443 Adrian Hicks (LD) 757 Lawrence Hole (UKIP) 61 Michael Lovegrove (Con) 488

St Luke, Winchester: David Abbott (UKIP) 63 Robert Ducker (Con) 515 Alexis Fall (LD) 823 David Smith (Lab) 148

St Michael, Winchester: Susan Chesters (LD) 680 Albert Edwards (Lab) 98 Judith Gordon (UKIP) 64 Fiona Mather (Con) 1196

St Paul, Winchester: Karen Barratt (LD) 1019 Glenn Cope (Lab) 74 Robert Courts (Con) 636

Swanmore and Newtown: Frank Pearson (Con) 1217 Michael Toole (LD) 371

Upper Meon Valley: Caroline Biggs (Con) 679 Margaret Scriven (LD) 179

Whiteley: Vivian Achwal (LD) 440 Mike Anthony (Con) 459 Barry Jones (Lab) 28

Wickham: Sue Fitzgerald (LD) 809 Neil Jackson (Con) 484 Robert Rudge (Lab) 31

Wonston and Micheldever: Alison Craig (Green) 102 Simon Hobson (LD) 515 Nigel Lickley (Lab) 74 Malcolm Wright (Con) 1193

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