Local Election 2017: Essex County Council results round-up
PUBLISHED: 03:21 05 May 2017 | UPDATED: 06:37 05 May 2017
Conservatives have made massive gains across Essex last night – as the Ukip vote appears to have collapsed.
Labour lost four seats early on in the night elsewhere in Essex – three in Harlow, a stronghold for the party traditionally, and one in Pitsea – all to the Conservatives.
However, they did take a seat from the Lib Dems in Colchester.
Jeff Bray, prospective Ukip candidate for Clacton in the general election, and candidate for Tendring Rural North seat in the council elections, predicted at the start of vote counting his party may not win any seats in the Tendring – and he was proved right.
Many suggested the area, which voted in Ukip’s first elected MP with Douglas Carswell (now independent) in 2014 and 2015, could be rich pickings for the party.
But Mr Bray said there is “a lot of confusion out there” with many voters thinking today was the general election.
“I’ve heard ‘We need to get Theresa May back in to secure Brexit’ more times than I can count,” he said.
“We are coming from a long way back,” he added.
A good sign for the Conservatives in Clacton on June 8 then?
Harwich & North Essex Conservative MP candidate (and incumbent) Bernard Jenkin said the party has never been more united.
And with Ukip’s vote collapsing, and Labour losing seats, it looks like he is right.
Overall the Tories extended the 44 seats they held on May 4 to 56, with the Lib Dems holding seven, Labour six, various independents five, and the Greens one – with James Abbott holding his Witham Northern seat, but losing his colleague in the south of the county.
Residents 4 Uttlesford lost their only seat, in Saffron Walden, where incumbent John Lodge stepped down – and failed to make any gains.
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