THE Conservative party strengthened its hold on Castle Point gaining four seats - included the coup of a Canvey seat.

The shock result of the night saw the Canvey Independent Party lose its seat in Canvey West, by just one vote.

Conservative candidate, and Canvey Town Council member, Jay Blissett ousted Jane King, of the Canvey West ward.

With one seat up for election from each of the 14 wards, the Conservative added four seats to its majority, in the form of Appleton, Canvey West, Cedar Hall and St Peter’s.

In Canvey West, Mrs Blissett earned 445 votes, compared to Mrs King’s 444.

Mrs Blisset said: “I am over the moon, I really am, but I can’t believe it.

“Just one vote, I never expected that.

“I had confidence that it would be close, and that I may win the seat, but I never thought it would be that close.

“I am in shock, all I keep saying to people is ‘just one vote’.

“It is a great result for the Conservative party, and now I am another voice on the island for the party in power.

“Standing as a town councillor, I have always seen this as a natural progression, and I will continue to fight for the people of Canvey, and that is one thing you can be sure of.

Even before I was associated with the Conservative Party, I campaigned for better infrastructure on the island, for a third road, to finish Roscommon Way.”

Leader of the Conservative Party, Colin Riley, praised a hugely succesful evening, hoping it was a sign of things to come as the party make inroads into Canvey.

He said: “What a lovely result, as a party we are delighted and could not have asked for much more.

“Our votes are returning to us in areas where they had dropped off, and it shows that faith in the Conservative party in Castle Point is continuing to grow.

“We are in power, and it is clear trust in us is growing.

“And to win a seat on the island, how amazing is that?

“We were hoping, and confident, to gain a few seats on the mainland, but we did not expect that.

“And in such dramatic fashion. Obviously that is Ray Howard’s ward, and I like to think it was his one vote which made the difference.

“Hopefully this is a sign of things to come, and we can continue to win back seats on the mainland, and make further in roads into Canvey.”

And a disappointing night for Canvey’s independent party was almost pre-empted by the parties leader, Dave Blackwell.

Before the results came in, Mr Blackwell admitted he feared that a poor turnout could see a few tight results.

The party retained five out of the six seats up in this election.

Mr Blackwell said: “We are expecting a very low turnout, which is disappointed.

“I think it will only be at around 15 per cent, then up to 25 per cent with postal votes.

“It is a shame, and when you have less voters, results end of tight, and we may have a few very tight results tonight. “