Suffolk local elections 2019: Council leaders face defeat as voters punish Conservatives in Suffolk
- Credit: Mid Suffolk District Council
The face of Suffolk local politics is set to change dramatically with at least two council leaders set to be booted out by voters.
Mid Suffolk Council Conservative leader Nick Gowrley lost his Combs Ford seat to Liberal Democrat Keith Scarff – meanwhile outgoing Waveney Council leader Mark Bee was humiliated by the Greens in Beccles.
Mr Gowrley’s defeat was not expected – although Mr Scarff is a regular council candidate who has come close to winning seats before.
Independent candidate Gerald Brewster retained the other Combs Ford seat.
Mr Gowrley said: “It’s very disappointing, not just for me we have lost some really good councillors. It’s a real shame for some of the long standing councillors. All the ones that have lost have put in some really hard work. We are convinced it’s the national picture affecting us.”
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“There are a lot of disaffected voters who have had a protest vote, and it does go against you when you only have two people standing because the protest vote will always go to the other one.
“Brexit is at the root of most of it. We have had people saying they are not going to vote Conservative until it is sorted.”
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Green Party candidates were doing well in rural Suffolk – smallholder Andy Mellen whose electioneering sheep caught the eye at Cotton defeated Mid Suffolk cabinet member Jill Wilshaw in the Bacton Ward.
The Greens have also taken a seat in Stowmarket.
Seats in the new East Suffolk council were taking longer to come through – but Conservatives were noticeably edge as the count started.
In Babergh former Conservative Katherine Grandon – now standing as an Independent – retained her seat in a contest with her former party.