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One vote could have changed election result

Mid Suffolk District Council experienced one of the most dramatic election counts in recent history on Friday, as a single vote effectively decided the election outcome.

There is no overall party or group in control of Mid Suffolk and Babergh district councils – in a dramatic reversal of fortunes for the Conservatives.

The Tories headed into the local elections with a majority, but the results saw them hold 16 seats, the Greens 12, Liberal Democrats five with one Independent.

Mid Suffolk and Babergh count. Picture by Jason Noble.
Mid Suffolk and Babergh count. Picture by Jason Noble.

Helen Geake, from the Green party who was elected for Elmswell and Woolpit, said: “I am surprised and delighted. We did put a lot of work in. I think it’s become slowly clearer and clearer over the past few years that Mid Suffolk Council isn’t working very well, the best thing to do is stand yourself to try and change it.”

Independent Gerard Brewster – who already has a cabinet position with the Conservatives – is expected to side with the Conservatives, so if the Greens and Lib Dems unite, both sides would end up with 17 seats each.

The St Peter’s, Stowmarket, ward was decided in favour of the Tories by just one vote, meaning that just one vote and the flip of a coin could have changed the outcome.

The biggest shock came with Conservative council leader Nick Gowrley losing his Combs Ford, Stowmarket, seat to Liberal Democrat Keith Scarff.

John Matthissen, from the Green party, who was elected for the Onehouse ward, said: “The public judged the performance of Mid Suffolk green councillors over the last 15 years and had issues with some of the recent Conservative policies.

“The public also responded to the climate and biodiversity crisis, highlighted by Extinction Rebellion, the school children’s strikes and David Attenborough’s recent TV programmes.”

In Babergh, there were 11 fewer seats than at the last election in 2015, but with Tories across the country losing out as a result of Brexit and protest votes, they have lost overall control.

They still, however, remain the largest single party with 15 seats.

It means that Conservative council leader John Ward will now have to meet with other parties or Independents in a bid to form an administration.

The next step for the two councils is a vote held in their annual council meetings on May 20 and 22 where councillors can put themselves forward to become leader.

Councillors will vote, with whichever candidate securing 50 per cent plus one of the votes becoming leader.

BACTON (One seat)

Andy Mellen (Green) - ELECTED, 633 votes

Jill Rosemary Wilshaw (Conservative) - 343 votes


Kay Maxine Oakes (Conservative) - 319 votes

Daniel Robert Pratt (Green) - ELECTED, 424 votes


Oliver Antonio Amorowson (Green) - ELECTED, 548 votes

Gary Michael Green (Conservative) - 428 votes

Barry Humphreys (Conservative) - ELECTED, 552 votes

David John Poulson (Liberal Democrat) - 360 votes


Gerard Michael Brewster (Independent) - ELECTED, 893 votes

Nick Gowrley (Conservative) - 443 votes

Miles George Samuel Newton Row (Green) - 443 votes

Keith Edward Scarff (Liberal Democrat) - ELECTED, 557 votes


Kerry Jayne Burn (Liberal Democrat) - 204 votes

Helen Mary Geake (Green) - ELECTED, 925 votes

Sarah Elisabeth Mansel (Green) - ELECTED, 1,006 votes

Jane Caroline Storey (Conservative) - 719 votes


Jo Clifford (Labour) - 110 votes

Chris Pitt (Conservative) - 421 votes

Rowland Scott Warboys (Green) - ELECTED, 506 votes


Stephen Richard Britt (Conservative) - 337 votes

Rachel Jane Eburne (Green) - ELECTED, 1,363 votes

James Passmore (Conservative) - 293 votes

Keith Paul Welham (Green) - ELECTED, 1,277 votes


Elaine Bryce (Conservative) - 326 votes

Andrew George Stringer (Green) - ELECTED, 838 votes


Paul Arthur Allen (Conservative) - 370 votes

Mike Norris (Liberal Democrat) - ELECTED, 847 votes

Matthew Carl Oakes (Conservative) - 442 votes

Steve Phillips (Liberal Democrat) - ELECTED, 805 votes

ONEHOUSE (One seat)

John Eric Matthissen (Green) - ELECTED, 463 votes

James Antony Spencer (Conservative) - 245 votes

Nicky Willshere (Liberal Democrat) - 125 votes


Philip John Cockell (Labour) - 108 votes

Gilly Morgan (Conservative) - 254 votes

Penny Otton (Liberal Democrat) - ELECTED, 628 votes


Sue Coe (Labour) - 302 votes

Jessica Thomasina Fleming (Conservative) - ELECTED, 502 votes


David Robert Child (Liberal Democrat) - 281 votes

Paul Ekpenyong (Conservative) - ELECTED, 282 votes

STONHAM (One seat)

Jeremy Aubrey Hall (UKIP) - 113 votes

Nicholas Robert Hardingham (Green) - 304 votes

Suzie Morley (Conservative) - ELECTED, 492 votes

David Charles Payne (Liberal Democrat) - 91 votes

THURSTON (Two seats)

Ursula Ajimal (Labour) - 136 votes

Olivia Boland (Independent) - 162 votes

Ellen Elizabeth Kirkby (Liberal Democrat) - 206 votes

Oliver Passmore (Conservative) - 498 votes

Harry Richardson (Conservative) - ELECTED, 633 votes

Wendy Turner (Green) - ELECTED, 732 votes

Susan Agbeke Tytler (Green) - 438 votes

Frank Wright (Liberal Democrat) - 158 votes


Eddie Dougall (Labour) - 136 votes

Stuart Alan Masters (Green) - 209 votes

Rick Meyer (Conservative) - ELECTED, 428 votes

Martin Kenneth Herbert Spurling (Liberal Democrat) - 69 votes



Oliver Antonio Amorowson (Green) - ELECTED, 240 votes

David Robert Child (Liberal Democrat) - ELECTED, 194 votes

Heather Salmon (Labour) - 182 votes

STOW THORNEY (Four seats)

Terence S Carter (Green) - ELECTED, 492 votes

Maria Kirova Child (Liberal Democrat) - ELECTED, 332 votes

Aaron Paul Hodge - 114 votes

William Thomas Howman (Labour) - ELECTED, 240 votes

Dave Muller (Conservative) - ELECTED, 551 votes

Steven Slodzik (Labour) - 199 votes


LAVENHAM (Two seats)

Philip Faircloth-Mutton (Conservative) - 624 votes

Margaret Maybury (Conservative) - ELECTED, 745 votes

Clive Arthey (Independent) - ELECTED, 704 votes

Leon Stedman (UKIP) - 254 votes

Mid Suffolk and Babergh councils.
Mid Suffolk and Babergh councils.

Additional reporting by Jason Noble.

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