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.
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
BATTISFORD & RINGSHALL (One seat)
Kay Maxine Oakes (Conservative) - 319 votes
Daniel Robert Pratt (Green) - ELECTED, 424 votes
CHILTON (STOWMARKET) (Two seats)
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
COMBS FORD (STOWMARKET) (Two seats)
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
ELMSWELL & WOOLPIT (Two seats)
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
GISLINGHAM (One seat)
Jo Clifford (Labour) - 110 votes
Chris Pitt (Conservative) - 421 votes
Rowland Scott Warboys (Green) - ELECTED, 506 votes
HAUGHLEY, STOWUPLAND & WETHERDEN (Two seats)
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
MENDLESHAM (One seat)
Elaine Bryce (Conservative) - 326 votes
Andrew George Stringer (Green) - ELECTED, 838 votes
NEEDHAM MARKET (Two seats)
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
RATTLESDEN (One seat)
Philip John Cockell (Labour) - 108 votes
Gilly Morgan (Conservative) - 254 votes
Penny Otton (Liberal Democrat) - ELECTED, 628 votes
RICKINGHALL (One seat)
Sue Coe (Labour) - 302 votes
Jessica Thomasina Fleming (Conservative) - ELECTED, 502 votes
ST PETER’S (STOWMARKET) (One seat)
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
WALSHAM-LE-WILLOWS (One seat)
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
STOWMARKET TOWN COUNCIL
CHILTON SOUTH (Two seats)
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
BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL
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
Additional reporting by Jason Noble.