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Gloucestershire County Council Elections 2013: UKIP gains

By jrmaidment  |  Posted: May 03, 2013

Comments (48) The emergence of UKIP cost the Conservatives dearly as Gloucestershire County Council was thrown into disarray on a fascinating election night. No party won enough seats to secure an overall majority on the authority. The Tories, who went into election night holding a huge majority, ended up with just 23 of a possible 53 seats while the Liberal Democrats ended up with 14 and Labour increased their numbers from five to nine.But the real story played out in the Forest of Dean where UKIP won their first ever county council seats in Gloucestershire, securing three divisions. And elsewhere in the county, Nigel Farage’s party was splitting the traditional Tory vote, costing the Conservatives the seats which would almost certainly have assured them overall control.

UKIP in profile: 'A force to be reckoned with'

As a result the council’s immediate future is far from clear with no easy way for any of the parties to form an alliance to reach the magic majority number of 27. The Green Party finished the night with a single seat in Stroud Central, as did the People Against Bureaucracy group in Cheltenham. There were also two independent candidates who emerged victorious: one in Mitcheldean, the other in Tewkesbury. The Liberal Democrats made major gains in the Cotswolds, taking three seats away from the Conservatives, while Labour performed strongly in Gloucester and Stroud.The next few days will make for interesting viewing as all of the parties try to figure out if they can make a coalition administration work. But there are likely to be some major barriers which will need to be overcome. The Conservatives will need to find four councillors who are willing to join them to reach the magic 27. Meanwhile, a Liberal Democrat/Labour alliance, last seen in an administration eight years ago, would still need to find four more councillors to reach 27.It means the power to avoid having a minority administration is likely to lie with a handful of UKIP, Green, PAB and independent councillors. Leader of the Conservative group, Councillor Mark Hawthorne, who was re-elected on the night in the division of Quedgeley, said: “It has clearly been a difficult night. These are mid term elections which are always a challenging time for those in government but we remain the largest party on the council.”Turnout across the county was 32 per cent with 151,250 votes cast. UKIP's Alan Preest, who won the Lydney division, punctuated his victory with a resounding message. “Let's make it quite clear,” he said. “We are not a one-issue party. “It's quite evident that people want a change." You can relive the election night on the Cover It Live feed below.

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  • BishopHooper  |  May 04 2013, 9:06AM

    @diogenesglos... Hard to do when they keep everything secret and out of the public eye... A bit like the Masons really.... ;)

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  • diogenesglos  |  May 04 2013, 8:48AM

    @eyeopener i didn't suggest he was a labour supporter! Also I think some people want a big change, i don't think many voters care if the economy grew or not. [the media has a strange obsessive fetish with growth figures, although economic growth is important, its not happiness, its not a cure, its just a number which usually jumps due to construction booms or an increase in exports, (we cant just build, make and consume forever)]. Anyone who believes in indefinite growth on a physically finite planet is either mad, or an economist. David Attenborough. People are fed up with immigration and the E.U which costs a fortune. People don't want Brussels telling us what we can and cant do. UKIP offers a real alternative. Even a flat rate tax sounds a good idea. @BishopHooper Who knows. I guess time will tell. But speculating isn't going to achieve anything. Try and find some evidence.

  • Isodet  |  May 04 2013, 8:21AM

    The reaction of Pam Treacey in the photo says it all - yes Pam, you won the count, but lost the election. But, strategy and tactics (and not listening to Joe Public) are not exactly the Tories strong points, if so they would have seen the UKIP shadow looming. A spectacular imploding of having such a majority, now reduced to horse trading & scrabbling with other parties to remain in power. Does that also reflect on the leadership of GCC over the past years? Meanwhile the LD will be cosying up to anyone to get back into the cabinet seats and sell their soul - if any left - to anyone willing to offer power. Please dont let Jeremy Hilton back in. Remember how the Tories got into power 8 years ago, on the wave of the Lab/LD proposition in cutting the grammars, and the skewed proposals that always ended up with the result they planned from the start. At least now those establishments have gone academy status, they are out of reach of such political experimentation and correctness. Those who live longest will see most...

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  • eyeopener  |  May 03 2013, 10:04PM

    @ diogenesglos If you read back through his comments BishopHooper is hardly a Labour supporter. I voted UKIP. I don't support them, I just wanted to punish the Tories for mismanaging the recession and punish the Lib-Dems for allowing this to happen. If the Lib-Dems and Tories pulled their fingers out and grew rather than shrank the economy come the 2015 election UKIP would be a fringe party again.

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  • UKIP4Chelt  |  May 03 2013, 9:51PM

    Does anybody know why Paul McCain CON (Deputy Leader of Council) did not attend the count in Cheltenham last night? I thought this was odd but don't want to pre-judge but nobody seemed to know.

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  • BishopHooper  |  May 03 2013, 9:04PM

    @diogenesglos answer this then.. why are GCC keeping all of the dealings secret? are they hiding something?

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  • diogenesglos  |  May 03 2013, 8:48PM

    @BishopHooper Where did these original allegations come from? Presumably their is a source? Or did an annoyed labor supporter just make up a rumor one day? Do Councillors even have the power/authority to reimburse contractors should the bid fail? Also if the BID does fail? Are we talking millions or just hundreds or thousands? Presumably if the bid does fail, any payment will show up in the councils end of year financial reports? Or does the conspiracy/corruption go much higher?

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  • BishopHooper  |  May 03 2013, 8:14PM

    @diogenesglos Its hard NOT to prove it... until GCC becomes fully transparent over this matter and releases ALL documentation.. this will linger like a fart in a car.. and I have a feeling in my water it is true because its stinks to high heaven and is dripping with Tory sleaze.

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  • MarkGlos  |  May 03 2013, 7:56PM

    @EllJay1 Postal votes are included in the turn-out figures.

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  • diogenesglos  |  May 03 2013, 7:42PM

    @jpatstarsmead That seems a very serious allegation. Why not go to the press? Do you have any evidence?

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