Tories in Gosport pluck seat from Labour in Hampshire County Council election

Tories tightened their grip on Gosport after winning an extra seat in the election.

Friday, 5th May 2017, 3:09 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:04 pm
The joyous Gosport Conservatives as Stephen Philpott, centre, wins Bridgemary from Labour

Cllr Stephen Philpott, who is a borough councillor and leads the borough development board, won Bridgemary from Labour.

The change-up of the ‘yo-yo’ seat was the only movement in the county election in Gosport.

Cllr Philpott, who paid tribute to Labour’s Shaun Cully, said: ‘It then falls to me to carry on that hard work over the next four years.’

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The joyous Gosport Conservatives as Stephen Philpott, centre, wins Bridgemary from Labour

He overturned a 325 Labour majority to win 2,055 votes, with a 794 majority.

‘The seat is a bit of a yo-yo seat between the Conservatives and Labour,’ Cllr Philpott added.

Alan Durrant was standing for Labour in Bridgemary, trying to defend the seat after Mr Cully stepped down.

Mr Durrant, of Trinity Green, said: ‘We weren’t expecting to win the seat.

The joyous Gosport Conservatives as Stephen Philpott, centre, wins Bridgemary from Labour

‘It was a practise run for the general election.

‘We’ve a much better chance when we fight a single Bridgemary seat in the borough election.

‘We’re looking forward to a good campaign in the borough next year.’

As a party Ukip lost more than 2,000 votes across Gosport.

The party won 1,863 votes across three divisions, compared to 4,288 in 2013 when the party had candidates in all four divisions.

Graham Burgess was returned as Lee councillor.

He is now set to take up the mantle of county council chairman, a ceremonial civic post.

Cllr Burgess said: ‘It’s a huge honour for someone living in Lee-on-the-Solent to be chair of the county council.

‘I look forward to trying to emphasise the work of the armed forces.’

Peter Chegwyn was returned as councillor for Hardway, increasing a 273 majority to 524.

Cllr Chegwyn was delighted the party had also increased its share in Bridgemary.

He said: ‘We’ve had to work hard, with the general election coming it has helped the Conservatives but they still haven’t won my seat.

‘They threw everything at me but I’m still there.’

He added the June general election has brought out the Conservative vote.

He said: ‘The Conservatives have been more determined to go out and support the government, even though it’s a local.

‘We’ve had a feeling the Conservative vote was up and the Labour vote has suffered.’

Chris Carter and Peteer Edgar were both returned as councillors in Leesland and Town.

Cllr Edgar, education boss on the county council, remained tight-lipped over his future in the cabinet position.

Both increased the number of votes won, with Cllr Edgar taking top spot with 4,756, and Cllr Carter winning 4,353.

Robert Hylands, a borough councillor, won 1,501, while his party colleague Stephen Marshall netted 1,203.