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County Council Election – Some Notable Runners Up

Published on: 8 May, 2017
Updated on: 10 May, 2017

Elections aren’t only about the winners – well okay perhaps they are – but there were some notable results achieved by the also-rans who can spend hours campaigning, knowing they are working against all the political odds.

Paul Kennedy

The Horsleys

In the normally “true blue” Horsleys the Lib Dem candidate Paul Kennedy is reported to have campaigned hard and he managed to move the Liberal Democrats into second place with 1,731 or 38% of the votes cast despite the presumed switch of hundreds of UKIP votes back to the Conservatives.

In 2013 the Lib Dem candidate was beaten into third behind UKIP only attracting 429 votes, 12%.

Local factors are likely to have included strong local feelings over proposed property developments on green belt land.

George Potter

Guildford East

There was a similar story in Guildford East where Lib Dem George Potter increased his party’s vote share from 931 or 25% to 1,495 or 35%.

Perhaps in the more affluent parts of this division there was some of the Brexit bounce that was expected to bolster the Lib Dem vote.

Potter said that he put down the increased Lib Dem vote to:”…widespread unhappiness amongst local people over the way they’re being ignored and taken for granted over issues like the introduction of parking charges and the commercialisation of Newlands Corner.”

Guildford South East

Leonie Anderson

Another town centre ward with a stronger Lib Dem showing was Guildford South-East where Leonie Anderson, said by party colleagues to have “worked her socks off” increased the Lib Dem vote from 905 or 26% in 2013 to 1,641 or 40% in a simple Conservative, Lib Dem, Labour contest.

Once again this was despite a presumed reversion of the previous 400, or so, UKIP votes to the Tories.

Guildford South-West

Bob Hughes

With a majority margin of only 150 in 2013, Guildford South-West appeared to be the tightest marginal of the Guildford seats for the incumbent, Lib Dem David Goodwin, to defend. But in the end he did it easily, increasing his majority to 847.

The Conservatives put up their new association chairman, Bob Hughes, a former government minister and a man worth watching, to challenge Goodwin but the Conservative vote share dipped three points to 30%, despite the UKIP factor.

Mark Bray-Parry the prospective parliamentary candidate for the Green party also stood here but only managed to attract 208 votes.

George Dokimakis

Guildford West

In Guildford West there was no UKIP candidate this time.

But if the 400 votes they attracted in 2013 went to the Tories it did not prevent Labour’s George Dokimakis, fast becoming one of the Labour party’s main players in Guildford, hanging on to second place for Labour, just six votes ahead of Conservative Adrian Chandler.


Prior to the election it was felt that splitting any anti-Tory vote between the incumbent George Johnson UKIP and the Guildford Greenbelt Group, solely represented in the SCC election in this division by Nick Norton, was likely to be a mistake.

In the event it hardly mattered. Although GGG beat UKIP to third place, both were beaten by the Lib Dem James Steel who only managed to attract 408 votes compared to the 2,036 obtained by the winning Conservative candidate, Matt Furniss.

In fact, all the five losing candidates together only received 45% of the vote.

See also: Opinion: County Council Election – What Does it Mean?


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Responses to County Council Election – Some Notable Runners Up

  1. David Snipp Reply

    May 8, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Did you forget to mention Guildford North?

    The Conservative share of the vote went from 24% in 2013 to 33% in 2017. In fact, it was their highest share since 1977.

    They also received more votes this time than the winner did previously.

    It was a very hard fought campaign and deserves at least a mention.

    I presume you will publish a correction or update your article.

    A definite omission but your comment, as the runner-up Conservative candidate in Guildford North, has done the job. Thank you. Ed

  2. Cathy Whitnall Reply

    May 10, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    Really pleased that you ran this story. People need to know that voting still counts, even if they think that their candidate doesn’t stand much chance of winning.

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