Strong Local Election Results
In the first election for the new Dorset Council, the Liberal Democrats won major plaudits and a lot of wards. Candidates who had worked hard for months invariably saw a good result.
Overall, the Lib Dems secured 29 of the 82 wards. With the Independents and Greens both getting 4 and Labour 2, this left the Conservatives with a majority of just 4.
In Weymouth Radipole, Ryan Hope and David Gray both had majorities of over 500 votes against their nearest rivals, the Conservatives. It was the same picture in Weymouth Westham where Ryan Hope and Gill Taylor had big majorities against their nearest Labour rivals.
Howard Legg caused a surprise Weymouth result in Upwey and Broadway when he beat the Conservative candidate on a 555 to 543 vote.
In nearby Crossways, Nick Ireland easily held a ward, which is similar to his previously marginal county one, when he romped home 746 to 360.
Moving East, we had some good candidates standing – Dave Bhattacharjee and David Burden in West Purbeck, Mandy Platts in South East Purbeck, Gill Calvin Thomas and Cliff Sutton in Swanage. Whilst these candidates polled encouragingly, they were defeated by the incumbent Conservatives and they would be the first to admit that they started to campaign later than was ideal to win their wards. However, their reception on the doorstep was really encouraging and so they feel that good foundations have been laid for the next campaign.
For the newly formed Weymouth Town Council, the Liberal Democrats 11 out of the 28 wards compared with the Labour’s 7, Conservatives 4 and Green 2.This is a result with which David Harris, who masterminded the campaign, will be well pleased.
For Swanage Town Council, the Conservative’s dominance continues. In Swanage North ward, they got all of their six candidates in with the Lib Dem Matt Piper and Cliff Sutton coming in a seven and eight. In Swanage South, Labour managed to get two of their candidates in. Gill Calvin Thomas was sixty one votes behind the sixth and last elected candidate and ahead of one Conservative and some of the Labour candidates. Again, the foundations have been laid for the next campaign in four year’s time or for a possible, earlier bye election.
All in all, it was a good night for the Lib Dems –not only in where we won but in how we lost in where we lost and in our intention to build there for the future.