TORY gains in the local elections left Southend Council on a knife-edge.

To continue the national trend, the Tories won three seats and retained all the posts they stood in Southend.

However, their success still left them four seats short of a majority needed to take back control, after heavy losses last year saw them kicked out of power after 14 years.

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THE Conservatives have tightened their grip on Castle Point Council after seeing off the Ukip surge.

Ukip and Canvey Island Independent Party had agreed to share power if they could overturn the Tories fragile majority, of just one.

But instead, the Conservatives increased their majority to three after poaching Canvey Island East from Canvey Island Independent Party.


THE Conservatives have retained control of Basildon Council.

The Tories won eight seats at the local elections, while the Labour won four and Ukip took two.

This means the overall make-up of the council is conservative 18, Independent 3, Labour 9, Lib Dems, 1 and UKIP 11.

It is likely the Tories will continue with a minority administration.


WHILE the country was reeling from the shock of a surprise Conservative victory, little changed in Rochford.

The Tories held each one of the wards it was defending in Ashingdon and Canewdon, Barling and Sutton, Foulness and Great Wakering, Grange, Hawkwell North, Hockley Central, Hullbridge and Rochford.

However, they also made gains in Hawkwell South and Sweyne Park, two wards previously held by Rochford District Residents councillors Christine Mason and Toby Mountain – himself a former Conservative who resigned the Tory whip before joining RDR.

But while the Tory gains mirrored the surprise victories seen across the country, Ron Oatham’s success in maintaining Downhall and Rawreth for the Lib Dems bucked a national trend which saw the party’s 57 parliamentary seats reduced to a paltry eight.

Rochford District Residents were able to maintain only one ward, with Christine Mason being returned for Hawkwell West.


CONSERVATIVE Jackie Doyle Price emerged as Thurrock’s MP following the most dramatic election night in Thurrock.

Labour looked to have it won, then Ukip were in pole position before Ms Doyle Price claimed victory in one of the closet fought seats in the country.

There was a recount, and eventually fewer than 1,000 votes separated the big three.

Ms Doyle-Price bagged 16,692 votes, Labour’s Polly Billington received 16,156 and Ukip’s Tim Aker, who many tipped to win, got 15,718.

Speaking after her victory, Ms Doyle-Price, who won by 92 votes after two recounts in 2010, said: “This increased my majority fivefold! It was a three way fight which was a very different campaign to what we had three years ago.

“Then it was a straight fight with Labour, but when you’re dealing with a fight with Ukip, when the messages they are giving are very much that I was out of the game, I had to run a very positive campaign and very in your face campaign, and it paid off.”

There was an overall turnout of 64.07 percent in Thurrock.

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