Main parties took a bashing at the polls – Labour leader

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LABOUR’S total dominance in Paulsgrove was quashed by Ukip as the party’s Portsmouth chairman Stuart Potter seized a seat in the ward.

He took the seat formerly occupied by Labour’s Jim Patey, who was stepping down, and fended off competition from the party’s new candidate Sue Castillon.

Labour failed to make up ground anywhere else in the city.

Cllr John Ferrett, Labour group leader, admitted it had been a tough night for his party as well as the other two main ones.

‘It’s an astonishing result,’ he said.

‘I don’t think any party expected Ukip to finish the election with six councillors and take seats from all three main parties – from us in Paulsgrove, the Conservatives in Copnor and four from the Lib Dems. This leaves the council in uncharted territory, we now have four main party groups.’

Meanwhile, Tory candidate Linda Symes beat Lib Dem Peter Eddis at the polls to become councillor for St Jude ward.

Cllr Donna Jones, Conservative leader, praised her party’s achievements.

‘It sends a clear message that people think the government are doing a difficult but fair job,’ she said.