Page last updated at 12:11 GMT, Friday, 2 May 2008 13:11 UK

Tories gain seats and Labour lose

Votes being counted in Weymouth and Portland
Turnout was about 39% across the Weymouth and Portland borough

The Conservatives have gained two seats in Weymouth and Portland's 2008 local elections at the expense of Labour.

The Tories now have 16 seats to the Lib Dem's 12, and remain the largest single party on the Dorset council, which is still under no overall control.

The Conservatives also retained two seats in by-elections in Bournemouth.

Cheryl Johnson took the vacancy for the Queens Park ward and the Winton East ward seat was taken by Douglas Spencer. Purbeck remained in no overall control.

In Purbeck, the Conservatives lost a seat to the Lib Dems.

The two parties now have 11 seats each, with two independent councillors.

I was expecting it to be a difficult evening for us. I think there is some weary disappointment but there's not animosity
Jim Knight, Labour MP

In Bournemouth's Queens Park ward, Ms Johnson won her seat with 910 votes, 444 more than her nearest rival, Lib Dem candidate Mike Carlile.

Mr Spencer took his seat with 590 votes, 179 votes ahead of Lib Dem candidate Anson Westbrook.

Weymouth and Portland council has been under no overall control since the early 1980s.

It had been predicted the Conservatives may take control. To do so they would have needed to gain four seats.

But they only gained three and then lost one belonging to their party and council leader, Nigel Reed.

Mr Reed, who lost his Weymouth East seat to Liberal Democrat John Birtwhistle, said: "I'm disappointed but... we've still got 16 seats, we're still the largest party, so actually I see that as a good result."

One of the two seats they gained was Tophill West, the first ever Tory seat on Portland.

Labour lost two seats leaving them with just four on the borough council.

Commenting on the results, Jim Knight, Labour MP for Dorset South, said: "I was expecting it to be a difficult evening for us. I think there is some weary disappointment but there's not animosity."




ENGLAND AND WALES RESULTS
  Councillors Councils
Party +/- Total +/- Total
CON 257 3155 12 65
LAB -334 2365 -9 18
LD 33 1804 1 12
PC 31 205 -1 0
OTH 10 898 0 0
NOC - - -3 64
159 of 159 councils declared.


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