News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bob Davidson's getting the job done in Cornwall

The appointment of Bob Davidson, former Conservative Agent for Folkestone & Hythe, to oversee the Cornish Conservatives is already paying dividends, just one year on. In Cornwall, the Lib Dems have had it their own way for rather too long, but last week's election shifted the political momentum firmly to the right. The Conservatives gained seats on every single District Council in Cornwall, whilst the Lib Dems saw their own support ebb away in most. Caradon was the main exception - the Lib Dems took control after gaining seats from Independents, but the Conservatives made strong gains there as well.

The worst results for the Lib Dems were in Restormel, where they lost control as the Conservatives gained ground and Carrick, where the Lib Dems not only lost the council, but slumped to second place as the Conservatives surged from third to first with 10 nett gains! Even Labout and UKIP joined in the party, taking control of seats as the Lib Dems melted away.

Along with Carrick, the other major success story for the Conservatives was Penwith. The Tories gained 3 seats, giving them 17 - exactly half the council. They are likely to be able to take effective control - especially given that they were already working with Independents to run the authority. As the council elects by thirds, next year the Conservatives will only need to take one more seat to take a majority. That would be the first time in my life that the Conservatives have won control of a council in Cornwall. It all bodes well for the next general and county elections.

In fact, the Conservatives also saw some good results in neighbouring Devon and Somerset, although things weren't as one sided as in Cornwall. These westcountry counties had become Lib Dem strongholds, but key gains in areas such as North Somerset, North Devon and Torbay have left the area looking decidedly blue. There are only two Lib Dem councils in the whole of the south west of England!

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