Tory Hampshire victory a ‘perfect springboard’ for general election success, says council leader

Fareham Conservatives at the Fareham count for the Hampshire County Council 2017 elections PPP-170505-032623001
Fareham Conservatives at the Fareham count for the Hampshire County Council 2017 elections PPP-170505-032623001

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A RESURGENT Tory landslide victory in the local elections is the ‘perfect springboard’ to next month’s general election, a council leader has said.

The Tories vanquished Ukip and held off a Liberal Democrat charge in the Hampshire County Council elections last night to bolster its standing across the county.

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council – who retained his Sarisbury seat on the county council – said the result will help provide momentum for the party nationally with voters to return to the polls on June 8.

He said: ‘This will act as a springboard for the nation to get behind us next month.

‘It is a strong precursor and it just shows the support that there is out there for the Conservatives. The party is very strong right now and these results show that.’

Current results have the Tories winning 52 of the 78 seats available, boosting their count by seven from the result in 2013.

Councillor Roger Price, leader of Fareham Liberal Democrats retained his seat in a closely fought battle with Tory candidate Geoff Fazackarley, who missed out by just less than 150 votes for the Portchester seat.

Cllr Price has held the seat since 1993 but saw his vote severely cut down by the Tories tonight.

He said: ‘The Lib Dems have done extremely well this evening because we’ve either won or come second in every seat tonight in Fareham so it’s a good result for that.

‘We are the only opposition and I think the Lib Dems will come second at the general election next month and tonight was a stepping stone for the Lib Dems to win Fareham.’