Tories keep control of Portsmouth - but fall short of a majority

Donna Jones (Con) is re-elected to the Hilsea ward in Portsmouth 
Picture: Allan Hutchings (160415-209)
Donna Jones (Con) is re-elected to the Hilsea ward in Portsmouth Picture: Allan Hutchings (160415-209)

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HOPES of any one party clinching overall control on Portsmouth City Council have been dashed tonight.

The Tories went into the elections confident of bolstering their numbers from 19 to 22, which would have been able majority of the 42 seats available on the majority.

But the Lib Dems held their grip on seats in the south - aside from a Labour gain in Charles Dickens which went down to the wire. And Labour kept hold of their Paulsgrove seat, despite early talk of Ukip bagging a victory in the ward.

It ended up being a poor night for Ukip in the end, as the party failed to make any gains and remain with four councillors.

The Tories though tightened their grip in the north of the city, after Cosham went completely blue with the election of Jim Fleming in the ward.

Lib Dem leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said his party’s performance was a huge improvement on last year.

He said: ‘Tonight, the Lib Dems won and defended eight seats, the Conservatives won four and Labour won two.

‘So the Lib Dems won more seats than anyone across Portsmouth.’

Tory council leader Donna Jones, who kept hold of her seat in Hilsea, was upbeat.

And she’s confident of a majority being secured in the near future - potentially through defections from other parties.

Cllr Jones said: ‘When I was elected in 2012, I had a majority of 74, now it’s 644, and that’s a really good testament to the success of our campaign across Portsmouth.’

Despite seats being swapped about through the night, the Tories remain on 19, the Lib Dems are up from 14 to 15, Labour are up from two to three and Ukip on four, with one independent.