Local Elections: Weymouth Mayor Ousted, UKIP Win 1st Seat
11:24am 23rd May 2014
(Updated 6:17pm 23rd May 2014)
The UKIP ship has sailed into Weymouth.
Francis Drake has become Weymouth and Portland's first ever UKIP councillor, winning Melcombe Regis.
In doing so he unseated current Weymouth and Portland mayor Ray Banham, who's civic year comes to a sudden halt on Thursday when deputy mayor Kate Wheller will be installed.
Councillor Christine James will become the new Deputy Mayor.
Councillor Banham was left trailing in 4th place in the Melcombe Regis ward, behind Francis Drake (UKIP), Roger Costello (Conservative) and Daniel Brember (Labour).
Talking to Wessex FM's Peter Smith a few minutes after the result was announced, revealed he was shocked. ' I'm absolutely gutted, after 14 years of working very, very hard. I've got free time now, which I'll have to get used to.'
Mr Drake was gracious in victory. 'I do feel sorry for Mr Banham,' he said before continuing to also credit his national party in part for his victory ' I do think it is now time to have a change of councillors in Weymouth, and yes, we are going very well notionally as well.'
The Borough follows the rest of England which has seen a major breakthrough for the UK Independence Party, who've siphoned support from the Conservatives and Labour.
UKIP has managed to capitalise on discontent about immigration and mainstream politics - but so far hasn't taken control of any local authorities.
In Weymouth and Portland elections were held in 12 wards with the winning councillors as follows:
Mark Tewkesbury (Lab) - Littlemoor Ward (Lab HOLD)
Francis Drake (UKIP) - Melcombe Regis Ward (UKIP GAIN Lib Dem LOSS)
Hazel Bruce (Con) - Preston Ward (Con HOLD)
Kevin Brookes - Upwey and Broadwey Ward (Con HOLD)
Margaret Leicester (Ind) - Tophill East Ward (Ind HOLD)
Penelope McCartney (Lab) - Tophill West Ward (Lab GAIN Con LOSS)
Gareth Rockingham (Lab) - Westham East Ward (Lab GAIN Con LOSS)
Christine James (Lib Dem) - Westham North Ward (Lib Dem HOLD)
Paul Kimber (Lab) - Underhill Ward (Lab HOLD)
Cory Russell (Con) - Wey Valley Ward (Con HOLD)
Claudia Webb (Con) - Weymouth West Ward (Con HOLD)
Craig Martin (Lab) - Wyke Regis Ward (Lab GAIN Ind LOSS)
It now means the council is made up of 15 Labour councillors, 11 Conservatives, seven Liberal Democrats, two Independents and one United Kingdom Independence Party.
A full breakdown of the results is available atwww.dorsetforyou.com/elections
Earlier today the announcement came that the Conservatives had lost control of Purbeck District Council.
The first local council election results are in after people went to the polls yesterday (Thursday 22nd May).
The Tories now hold 12 of the 24 seats ( -1), the Liberal Democrats have 11 ( +1) with the last seat held by an Independent.
The Purbeck local authority is now under no overall control.
Elections were held in 8 wards around the district, with the closest contest being held in the Lychett Matravers seat where the Lib Dems made a gain winning the count by just 28 votes.
The Conservatives managed to hold their other wards with Labour's best showing in Swanage South, despite the party never gaining momentum at the polls.