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UKIP take Herne Bay

Victorious UKIP members in the Bay are celebrating their success in the Kent County Council elections.

The party wrestled both Herne Bay seats from sitting Tories Jean
and David Hirst, with Nicholas Bond and Brian MacDowall now
representing the town at County Hall. The result was the last declared
and the only UKIP win in the district, but took the party’s total seats
on the council to 17, including seven out of eight in Thanet.

UKIP chairman Jim Gascoyne said:

“We came second in
Whitstable so that is next for us, then right on to Westminster. The
route to Parliament is along the Kent coast and then up the Thanet Way.”

The party polled 34% of the vote, on a 28% turn
out. Mr Bond polled 2,048 votes and Mr MacDowall 2,054. Mrs Law and
Mr Hirst polled 1,817 and 1,724 respectively.

Mrs Law, whose seat on Canterbury City Council was not affected by this election, was tearful as the result was announced. She said:

“Herne Bay wanted a change and now they have got a change. I am terribly disappointed.”

Mr Hirst said he felt shaken by the result, adding:

“That’s politics for you.”

Mr MacDowall was not at the count as he was on a business trip to Germany. Mr Bond said:

“I feel really good about being elected. It’s absolutely great for the party.There’s lots of work to do, but I look forward to working with the people of Herne Bay.We’ve worked very hard nationally, and I’m really delighted we got so many gains.”

Labour’s Lynn Faux-Bowyer and Tom Mellish gained 1,003 and 948
votes respectively, while Lib Dem candidates Margaret Flaherty and June
managed 434 and 308 votes.

New England Party candidates Nathan King and Mike Tibby polled
119 and 193 votes, and Green Party candidates Elaine Godden and Michael
gained 204 and 202.

Independents John Moore and Stan Truelove won 484 and 362 votes,
while Independent Steve Coombes, who stood to publicise the Duchamps
festival in Herne Bay this summer, and handed out awards for absurdity
around the town in the run-up to the election, scored 509.

Other seats in the Canterbury district did not change hands and
the county council is still under overall Tory control. They lost 27
seats but held 44. Ukip have 17 seats – up from just one – and Labour
gained 11 seats and lost one, taking their total to 13. The Liberal
Democrats lost one and gained one, giving them seven seats, while the
Green Party gained a seat in Hythe. A west Kent residents association
candidate also held onto their seat.

thisiskent 10th May 2013

Conservative incumbants Jean Law and David Hirst were ousted
after a recount at the Kings Hall this afternoon.

The pair – who had enjoyed a healthy majority at the last county
council elections in 2009 – trailed more than 200 votes behind
Brian Macdowall and Nicholas Bond.

Lib Dem candidates Margaret Flaherty and June Raybaud also
fell from their position as closest challengers to finish 9th and
11th respectively.

The Herne Bay seats were the only ones to change hands
across the Canterbury district, despite UKIP winning an impressive
17 of the 84 up for grabs in Kent.

Speaking after the defeat, Mrs Law said:

“I’m disappointed but
then I would be because I’ve worked in Herne Bay. It’s where I
brought the kids up. I couldn’t of worked any harder for the people of Herne Bay and
I’m just sorry for all the volunteers along the way. It has been a disastrous day for the Conservatives and they may
have to re-think what they are doing.”

kentonline 3rd May 2013

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  1. I hear UKIP have won the Herne Bay seat on Kent County Council. I wonder what their policy is on care for the elderly? Or Pre-school provision in the area? Or what about health care, or education, highway maintenance, the future of grammar schools? How about off-shore wind power, or waste disposal? And I wonder how many of those who voted for them actually asked any of these questions of their future representative before they voted.Perhaps we should be told?

  2. Hmm… good questions, and you’re not the first to ask. I think this is why so many are ready to dismiss UKIP’s success as no more than a protest vote.