Norfolk County Council election: Tories lose control of council

The Norfolk count taking place in St Andrew's Hall The Norfolk count is being held in Norwich's St Andrew's Hall

Conservatives have lost control of Norfolk County Council for the first time since 1997 after losing 20 seats.

The election saw UKIP win 15 seats while Labour won 14.

It was the first time the Green Party lost seats on the county council. They were down two seats, and now have four councillors.

The Lib Dems gained one seat, taking their total to 10.

An independent candidate won one seat.

The Conservatives took 33% of the vote, with UKIP taking 24%; Labour 23%; Lib Dems 11% with other parties receiving 9% of the vote.

Analysis

This was a result beyond UKIP's wildest dreams. They were hoping to pick up a handful of seats in Norfolk - not to make 14 gains and become the main opposition on the County Council. Suddenly the party finds itself facing an enormous responsibility. It can't just be a party of protest - it will be expected to be a party of constructive criticism - closely scrutinising the work of the minority administration. Some at County Hall wonder if the new opposition (which doesn't even have a group leader at the moment) will be up to the task. For the Tories, already scarred and divided over the waste incinerator row this is another major blow. For only the second time in 40 years they've lost overall control of Norfolk - recovering could take some time.

UKIP prospective parliamentary candidate Anna Hamilton said: "I think this gives us an incredible launch pad for two year's time (the year of a possible general election) bearing in mind party support is going up exponentially.

"I think it will peak in two year's time."

She said UKIP is now being "taken as a serious, proper party".

Conservative leader Bill Borrett said: "We need a consensual approach going forward.

"There isn't a party on Norfolk County Council with an overall majority.

"I would like the opportunity to work with all of the councillors to get the results that Norfolk deserves.

"So I hope my consensual and collegiate approach is something that fits with what people perceive is required."

VOTE 2013
Party English Councils Councillors
Total Change +/- Total Change +/-
CON 18 -10 1116 -335
LAB 3 2 538 291
LD 0 0 352 -124
UKIP 0 0 147 139
GRN 0 0 22 5
OTH 0 0 187 24
NOC 13 8 N/A N/A

After 34 of 34 councils declared

All results for England & Wales

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