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Tories Lose Woking, Six Seats at Elmbridge and Two in Mole Valley, But Is It Enough For a Rebellion?

Published on: 6 May, 2022
Updated on: 6 May, 2022

Surrey Borough and District Council Elections 2022.

The Conservatives lost seats in all six of the Surrey boroughs and districts where elections were being held today.

Surrey is sometimes described as part of the “blue wall” but the losses reflect results in other parts of the country.

The big question, at the national level, remains will enough Tory MPs look over their shoulder at their own constituencies and decide their chances would be better without Boris Johnson as their leader?

Liberal Democrats Take Control at Woking

By Julia Armstrong

local democracy reporter

The Liberal Democrats have taken control of Woking Borough Council in a dramatic result in which Conservatives did not win one single seat. A third of the seats at WBC were being contested.

Woking Borough borders Guildford to the North. The two towns lie just seven miles apart.

The Tories have held power in Woking for 14 years and were the largest party in a no overall control administration before yesterday’s election. Now they have had their 13 seats cut down to just eight.

Four of their seats were swiped by the Lib Dems, meaning the now majority party have 16 of the council’s 30 seats.

Liberal Democrat group leader Ann-Marie Barker, who will now lead the council, said in her winner’s speech: “Today’s been a complete wipe-out for the Conservatives, they didn’t manage to win any of the seats up for election.

“They’re now down to eight seats, that’s the lowest number of Conservative councillors ever in the history of the borough of Woking.”

It was a surprise even to the Lib Dems themselves, who had expected to gain seats in Goldsworth Park and Horsell but not in Tory strongholds Heathlands and Pyrford as well.

LD Guy Cosnahan and Con Simon Ashall waiting for the Heathlands result. Credit LDR

After three times standing in Heathlands, Guy Cosnahan had his first election win since the age of 11, unseating the council’s deputy leader Simon Ashall, who declined to speak to the LDRS.

Independent Hassan Akberali said he had knocked on around 4,000 doors in Knaphill and was delighted to finally win after years of coming second.

One Heathlands voter, happy with the result, could not conceal his venom when he spoke to The Dragon: “Every suppression of a Tory candidate is a celebration. Nothing could ever compel me to vote Conservative, even if it were in my narrow self-interest; the approach that this party has taken to the most vulnerable is repugnant at every societal level.

“Every Tory MP, candidate, and voter is only lying to themself when they express disbelief about the conduct of the PM and their party. The government’s approach to the pandemic has veered from the negligent to the corrupt.”

See also: Woking Council On a Knife-Edge as Election Day Looms and Canvassing with the Lib Dems in a Woking Tory Stronghold

Conservatives Lose Six Seats at Elmbridge

By Emily Coady-Stemp

local democracy reporter

Elmbridge borough borders Guildford borough to the north east.

At Elmbridge Borough Council, the Conservatives lost six seats to the Lib Dems and  Residents’ Association candidates. The council remains under the control of the Residents’ Associations and the Liberal Democrats.

Elmbridge Borough Council, which is largely covered by Dominic Raab’s parliamentary seat of Esher and Walton, has been a clear target for the Liberal Democrats since Raab’s majority was slashed from 23,000 in 2017 to 2,700 in the 2019 general election.

Various Residents’ Association parties run the council with the Liberal Democrats.

The Residents’ Associations include the Walton Society, which had three councillors going into the elections, one of which is the council’s leader Cllr Chris Sadler.

The party made a gain in his Walton Central ward where former Conservative councillor Barry Cheyne, now with the Walton Society, won with 761 votes against the Conservative candidate Lloyd Soldatt, who gained 638.

The Liberal Democrats took seats from the Conservatives in Walton North, Walton South, Hersham Village and Cobham and Downside wards.

Going into the election, the Liberal Democrats had nine of the council’s 48 seats, the Conservatives 17 and there were 20 residents’ association candidates along with two independents who had left the Conservative party earlier this year.

In another gain for the residents’ associations, Simon Waugh won the Esher ward by more than 200 votes, defending the seat he had won as a Conservative in 2018.

The Conservatives held seats Weybridge and St George’s Hill, where Cllr Charu Sood received 1,304 votes, followed by John Gilfillan, for the Weybridge & St George’s Independents with 909 votes.

And one encouraging result for the Conservatives, their 18-year-old candidate held the Oatlands and Burwood Park seat with 1,171 votes to the Lib Dems 999.

Liberal Democrats Increase Majority in Mole Valley While Independents Stand Firm

Mole Valley is the district to the east of Guildford which includes Dorking.

The Liberal Democrats increased their overall majority at Mole Valley District Council where 14 seats were being contested.

They won two seats Bookham and Capel, Leigh and Newdigate from the Conservatives increasing their total number of seats from 22 to 24, the Tory total dropping by two to 10.

The Lib Dems have increased their seats from 22 to 24 on the council while the number of Conservative seats has dropped from 12 to 10.

The Independent parties kept their seven seats.

Elections were also held in Reigate & Banstead where the Conservatives lost one seat and gained one and retain overall control of the council with 27 of the 42 seats, Runnymede where they retain control despite losing three seats, and Tandridge where the Tories lost four seats and are now only the third biggest party.


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Responses to Tories Lose Woking, Six Seats at Elmbridge and Two in Mole Valley, But Is It Enough For a Rebellion?

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    May 7, 2022 at 6:27 am

    I suspect that this rout of the Tories has much less to do with “partygate” than local issues. Residents across the South East have had enough of their love affair with developers. We only have to look at GBC to see the impact of their Local Plan on their fortunes, losing a large majority, as a direct result.

    Let’s hope that when it is Guildford’s turn next year the final rump of Tories will be handed their P45s.

    • Stuart Barnes Reply

      May 8, 2022 at 9:37 am

      I agree with Mr Cranwell re his remarks regarding the ridiculous amount of building taking place under the local and UK Conservatives. However, as the new councillors are unlikely to do anything different, I think that the results are basically meant as a message by the electors to the so called Conservatives to change their ways rather than a positive vote for the opposition.

      If the Conservative Party does not stop its left wing trendy nonsense then it will deserve to be thrown out at the next General Election.

      As has been said before, we voted for Boris hoping for Thatcher and instead got Carrie!

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