Grim Tories shocked by narrow election result
New Forest Liberal Democrats are celebrating after battling in one of the Tory party’s safest seats in a District Council by-election in the Fawley area.
Last time the seat was contested, the victorious Tory candidate won by a majority of 883 votes over the nearest Lib Dem rival.
However, this time around, the Conservatives failed to even register that number of votes, polling just 736 against the Liberal Democrat, Craig Fletcher’s 525 votes.
The turnout was just 26.5%. The majority is now down to just 211 votes.
The winning Tory candidate didn’t seem at all pleased and made an ungracious speech, blaming the Liberal Democrats for the bad publicity he himself had attracted.
Councillor David Harrison, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on New Forest District Council, says “Craig is the best candidate I have ever worked with. He understands that it was a huge, uphill task, to overturn such a large majority in a four week campaign… but what a result! A similar swing from Tory to Lib Dem in other wards will mean more than twenty Lib Dem Councillors elected.
The Tories will be very worried now.
There is really no such thing as a safe Tory seat anymore”.
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It was a most remarkable day at Hampshire County Council today. As Leader of the Liberal Democrat Opposition group, I led the charge against the proposed closure of the Orchard Close Care Home, in Hayling Island.