Staffordshire local elections 2013: Tories maintain control

Council leader Philip Atkins said he believed voters had opted for UKIP because they disagreed with issues such as HS2 and immigration

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The Conservatives have maintained control of Staffordshire County Council.

Labour made 21 gains in Thursday's poll, taking their number of seats to 24, with the Tories now having 34.

UKIP lost one seat and now has two, as do the Independents. The Liberal Democrats lost all four of their seats.

The council's leader, Conservative Philip Atkins, held his seat in the Uttoxeter Rural ward. All 62 seats were contested at the council.

In Stafford, Labour gained three from the Tories. Five were gained by Labour in Cannock Chase, four from the Tories and one from the Liberal Democrats.

Analysis

This has been a strong election for Labour but not strong enough.

They would have had a huge job on their hands to take control.

It would have meant going from three councillors to at least 32. But, they have been helped and the Tories have been hurt by UKIP.

People told the main party candidates on the doorsteps that they agreed with UKIP's stance on opposing immigration from Eastern Europe and opposing the new high-speed rail line that will go through the Staffordshire countryside.

But UKIP didn't get enough votes to help themselves, ending up with one fewer seat.

In Tamworth, Labour won three seats, with an independent winning another. The Conservatives held on to two of their seats but lost three.

'From nowhere'

Six members of the Tory group held on to their seats in South Staffordshire.

Staffordshire Moorlands was also held by the party, despite two Labour gains.

One of those gains was the seat of the Liberal Democrat party leader on Staffordshire County Council, Christina Jebb.

She had previously held the Biddulph South and Endon seat since 1989.

BBC Radio Stoke reporter Ros Chimes said "she looked like she was in tears" after hearing the result.

In Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Labour won five seats, UKIP won one and the Conservatives held two.

Councillor Derek Davis, leader of the Labour group in Cannock, said overnight that if local results reflected those coming through nationally, he predicted a hung council.

He put Labour's gains down to voters' concerns about the future of the hospitals in Cannock and Stafford, and the number of people voting for UKIP.

The Conservative MP for Cannock Chase, Aiden Burley, also earlier said he believed UKIP gains across England was "the real story of tonight".

"They've come from absolutely nowhere in this district to really taking huge numbers of votes from both the Conservatives and Labour," he said.

The results can be found on the BBC website.

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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