Election 2008: Fareham Tories celebrate raising game without any gains

‘Don’t leave it too long to trim your hedges’

JUBILANT Tories swept to victory in Fareham and warned Labour it was a taste of things to come at the next general election.

Although no seats changed hands in the borough, the ruling Tory party consolidated its majorities in many of the 15 seats up for grabs.

And they pushed the sitting Lib Dem candidate Cllr Katrina Trott to a partial recount in Fareham East ward, which the current mayor eventually won by 80 votes.

But the Labour Party performed miserably across the board – polling lowest in many of the 15 seats they were contesting, even being beaten into last place by the English Democrats in Portchester West.

And they only narrowly pushed BNP candidate Roger Knight into last place in Portchester East by three votes.

Tory council leader Sean Woodward said: 'It's a fantastic result. Obviously, we have kept all our seats and driven up our majorities in most of them.

'I didn't think after the last election that Labour's result could have collapsed any more, but it did tonight.

'I think it's very much an indicator of the way things are going nationally, and is very positive for the next general election.

'Obviously it's a fantastic night for the Conservatives across the country.'

All 15 of the seats on offer went to the sitting party – 12 to the Tories and three back to the Lib Dems. The make-up of the council therefore remains the same, with 22 Conservative members, nine Lib Dems and no Labour councillors.

Only one new face has joined the council, Tory councillor Tiffany Harper, who replaced retiring fellow Tory Francis Devonshire in Titchfield.

Lib Dem group leader Roger Price said: 'I think we performed very well. We kept everything we started off with, when the votes to a certain extent are against us.

'When people are protesting against Labour, the votes tend to go to the Conservative party rather than us, so we are pleased we held our ground. It's the situation of national trends dictating local government. We are disappointed not to have won Stubbington and Titchfield Common, but we did come close.'