ELECTION 2018: Tories hold onto their majority in Fareham
The Tories have held onto their majority at Fareham Borough Council and are celebrating after taking a seat previously held by Lib Dems for 18 years.
Fareham East, previously held by Lib Dem Maryam Brady, was won by Tom Davies with a 360-vote majority over the Liberal Democrats.
The 25-year-old, who has lived in Fareham for most of his life, said: ‘It has been a really hard-fought campaign, I was up at five this morning. It’s been a ridiculously busy day and it has capped off a really busy period.
‘We have been doing this now for three years in Fareham East so it’s been a long-term plan.
‘You can’t win an election overnight it takes a lot of hard work and dedication from a large group of people and I was lucky enough to have that.’
Tory council chief Councillor Sean Woodward who kept his Sarisbury seat, was pleased with the overall outcome of the elections.
He said: ‘I am absolutely elated with all the results and it is great that we have taken what has been a Lib Dem safe seat for many years.
‘This is the hardest-fought election I have had in 33 years of being on the council because of national party issues affecting housing and other issues which has had big impacts on local issues.’
The council recently responded to a national planning policy consultation with anger as the new formula would have seen an extra 1,100 houses added to the town.
Wannabe Tory candidate for Portchester East Hugh Sach made an appearance at the count, held at Ferneham Hall this morning, but declined to speak to The News about his recent suspension from the party amid an investigation into comments made on Facebook following an MP’s use of a racist term.
Mr Sach got 979 votes but lost out to both seats available in the ward to Lib Dems Roger Price, with 2,011, and Gerry Kelly with 1,791.
Lib Dem leader Roger Price was hopeful at the beginning of the evening that the party would make inroads into the council as it would be ‘mathematically impossible to overtake in this election’.
Speaking after the results were announced, he said: ‘We lost a seat but I am delighted with my vote number and that Gerry has joined me in the ward.’
Gerry Kelly took the Portchester East seat from Tory Geoff Fazackarley who has moved wards and won a seat in Fareham South.
Lib Dem Councillor for Stubbington, Jim Forrest kept his seat despite close competition from Tory Pal Hayre.
Cllr Forrest said: ‘I am really pleased I have kept the seat and I am delighted to keep serving the people of Stubbington.’
Although the party did not gain any seats, Labour did make headway with votes and came second in five different wards ahead of other parties.
Labour candidate for Fareham East, Adam Arnold said he was pleased with a three per cent rise in his vote.