Election 2015 England

Elections 2015: Tories dominate South East results

A procession on bonfire night Image copyright PA
Image caption Lewes, famous for its bonfire night celebrations, now has a Conservative-led district council

Conservatives have secured control of the majority of local councils across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Tandridge, in Surrey, was the first to announce local election results with an increased Tory majority.

UKIP has won control of its first UK council, gaining an overall majority in the Thanet local election in Kent.

And Labour has become the largest party In Brighton, gaining minority control of the council previously led by the Green Party.

Elsewhere in Sussex, Labour narrowly kept control of Crawley with a majority reduced from five to one.

The Conservatives gained Lewes which was previously a council with no party in overall control. Now, there are 24 Conservatives, 11 Liberal Democrats, three Greens, two independents, and one UKIP councillor.

The Tories have kept control of Horsham, Rother, Wealden, Mid Sussex, Arun and Chichester councils.

In Eastbourne, however, the Liberal Democrats held on, with a gain of three seats.

Candidate died

In Kent, Conservatives gained control of Gravesham Borough Council from Labour, with a majority of two seats. The Tories now have 23 seats there, compared to Labour's 21.

The Tories kept control of councils in Shepway, Swale, Medway, Dover, Canterbury, Tunbridge Wells, Dartford, Sevenoaks, Ashford and Tonbridge & Malling.

But there is still no party in overall control in Maidstone, where the Conservatives and an independent each gained one seat and UKIP lost two.

In Surrey, the election for two seats in Holmwoods ward on Mole Valley District Council was cancelled after the death of Lib Dem candidate Mick Longhurst.

But the Tories held overall control, winning in 12 out of 13 wards where elections were held.

The Tories remain at the helm in Waverley, Spelthorne, Elmbridge, Runnymede, Reigate and Banstead, Woking, and Surrey Heath.

Resident Association councillors kept control of Epsom and Ewell Borough Council - a record that goes back to the 1930s, increasing their majority from 14 to 24.

The results for 21 of the 22 wards for Guildford Borough Council elections have been announced, with 45 of 48 councillors elected. A recount for the Stoughton ward will take place on Monday.

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