THE Conservative Party will have a majority in Monmouthshire for the next council.
The party eventually claimed 25 of 43 possible county council seats, having taken a number of seats from independent and Welsh Labour candidates.
Seven hours after the polls closed at 10pm, the Conservatives finished with 25 seats, up from 19 previously.
10 seats will belong to Welsh Labour, down one from 11, while independents suffered most, losing five seats to give them a total of five councillors. The Liberal Democrats will once again have three seats in the council.
Conservative leader Councillor Peter Fox was thrilled with the party’s success. He said: “I’m really pleased with the result with the Conservative group gaining six seats overall.
“There will be a strong majority on the council now and going forward we can focus on putting in a plan for all people in Monmouthshire which leaves nobody behind.”
He also commended the efforts of all who contested the elections:
“I’d like to pay tribute to all the candidates that didn’t win or who are not returning and thank them for their contributions.
Mr Fox said it was the work put in by the party and possible the national political climate which resulted in their success.
“Most of the seats gained were from independents. I think it came down to hard work and strong campaigning. It is possible that what is happening in national politics had an effect; clearly people have a lot of interest in it. But really it is the sheer hard work and successful campaigning by committed candidates.”
3:34am: A CONSERVATIVE Monmouthshire County Council looks likely as the party secured its 19th seat - just four away from securing an overall majority.
Of the results confirmed so far, 19 seats belong to the Welsh Conservative Party, with Welsh Labour having secured nine, Liberal Democrats securing three and three independent candidates. Nine seats are still to be announced
Tonight Monmouthshire residents are choosing who represents them at a local level.
There are 43 county council seats that cover 42 county areas available for election. At community and town council level there are 356 seats which cover 119 wards. All wards are incorporated into one of 33 community and town councils.
The polls were open from 7am to 10pm, and the first official results came at just after 11.30pm.
Lisset Maria Burrett (Welsh Labour) - 120
Les Keen (Liberal Democrats) - 87
Phil Murphy (Welsh Conservative Party) - 412
Gordon Norrie (UKIP) - 56
Phil Murphy thanked everyone for their support during this campaign, and thanked officials for organising a "very smooth election."
Dimitri Batrouni (Welsh Labour) - 320
Joshua Paul Chohan (Welsh Conservative Party) - 254
Tony Redhead (Liberal Democrats) - 40
Dimitri Batrouni thanked his friends and family who helped him in his campaign. He also thanked Conservative candidate Joshua Chohan and congratulated him on a good campaign.
He added that it was a “privilege and honour” to serve his ward.
Jeremy Becker (Liberal Democrats) - 244
Marc Le Peltier (Welsh Conservative Party) - 214
Dale Rooke (Welsh Labour) - 176
Jeremy Becker thanked his fellow Lib Dem candidates and agent Phil Hobson who he said was “absolutely critical” in his campaign.
He added that he has worn holes in his shoes from canvassing and that he is looking forward to “putting some proper effort in” on the council.
Michael Lewis (Welsh Conservative Party) - 227
Armand Watts (Welsh Labour) - 405
Armand Watts said he was “tired, exhausted but relieved” after being re-elected for the fourth time, and dedicated the win to mother who has fallen ill.
David Adams (Welsh Labour) - 156
Phil Hobson (Liberal Democrats) - 270
Paul Pavia (Welsh Conservative) - 340
“Can I say thank you to returning officer for ensuring democratic processes. Thank you to all the Monmouthshire Conservative Association for all their hard work not in Chepstow but across the association. I am absolutely delighted to be elected and I hope to build on last three years of work on the town council.”
David Dovey (Welsh Conservative) - 456
Lia Hind (Independent) - 407
Henry Hodges (Liberal Democrats) - 62
Gerry Rowe - (Welsh Labour) - 94
David Dovey "I firstly would like to thank all those who voted for me in St. Kingsmark, it is a great honour to be re-elected. I’m sure the next five years will be challenging but I’m sure we have the right sort of team in the conservative group to meet that challenge.”
Dixton with Osbaston
Anthea Dewhurst (Liberal Democrats) - 253
Jane Lucas (Independent) - 205
Vivien Mitchell (Welsh Labour) - 87
Richard Roden (Welsh Conservative Party) - 499
Richard Roden said: "I would like to thank the electorate who have given me the opportunity to represent them for the next five years.
Catherine Fookes (Welsh Labour) - 323
Laura Anne Jones (Welsh Conservative Party) - 347
Stuart James Wilson (Independent) - 155
Sian Damon (Plaid Cymru) - 53
Mat Feakins (Welsh Conservative Party) - 654
Sarah Louise Gillie (Liberal Democrats) - 92
Patrick John Harkness (Welsh Labour) - 237
Alan Michael Wintle (Independent) - 151
Mat Feakins thanked the residents of Drybridge for "their support and trust."
Terry Christopher (Independent) - 176
David Tudor Greaves (UKIP) - 30
Su McConnel (Welsh Labour) - 173
Jamie Treharne (Welsh Conservative Party) - 264
Gary Witcombe (Independent) - 29
Jamie Treharne thanked residents, the Monmouthshire Conservative office in Usk and his fellow candidates.
Tim Fawcitt (Welsh Conservative Party Candidate) - 247
Jo Watkins (Liberal Democrats) - 271
Jeff Williams (Welsh Labour/Llafur Cymru) - 253
Jo Watkins said: “I hope to serve the people of Caldicot Castle to the best of my ability.”
David Ashwin (Plaid Cymru) - 123
Tony Easson (Welsh Labour) - 283
Anthony Griffiths (Welsh Conservative Party) - 90
Tony Easson said: “I thank the Labour family in Dewstow and I thank all the voters in Dewstow and I hope I can serve them the best I can.”
Alan Davies (Welsh Labour) - 175
John Ian Marshall (Independent) - 115
Cris Watkins Liberal Democrats - 160
Alan Sykes Whiteley (Welsh Conservative Party) - 108
Alan Davies: “Thank you to all those from the campaign. I am looking forward to representing the people of Green Lane ward to the best of my ability for the next five years.”
Jimmy Harris (Independent) - 152
Jim Higginson (Welsh Labour) - 209
Ian Herbert Standing (Welsh Conservative Party) - 113
Jim Higginson said: "I would like to thank the staff of Monmouthshire County Council for making the county council and town council a success. They have worked very hard and checked, checked and checked again to make sure everything is correct.
Dave Evans (Welsh Labour)- 226
Philip Sutton (Independent)- 139
Paul Watkins (Welsh Conservative Party) - 89
Dave Evans said: "I would like to thank the returning officers for all the work they have done leading up to and tonight. Can I thank my colleagues in Labour party, they have done a lot of footwork. I would like to thank my family they have stuck by me, if you persevere and put in hard work people do recognise it so I have to thank the residents as well.”
Paul Cromwell (Independent) - 150
Ella Davies (Welsh Conservative Party) - 59
Simon (Welsh Labour) - 129
Linda Guppy (Liberal Democrats) - 182
Linda Guppy said: "Thank you to all my Lib Dem candidates, thanks to all the officers for running the show smoothly and perhaps we won’t have to see the dawn!"
Peter Alan Fox (Welsh Conservative Party) - 491
Rachel Catherine Garrick (Welsh Labour) - 369
Peter Fox said it was "really pleasing" and thanked staff at Monmouthshire County Council, his wife for her support and to the Conservative branch in Monmouthshire. He added there is "a lot of work to do in Monmouthshire at a really important time."
Hilary Margaret Beach (Welsh Labour) - 110
Louise Brown (Welsh Conservative Party) - 509
Vicky Hepburn-John (Liberal Democrats) - 56
Philip Nicholas Moles (Independent) - 279
Louise Brown thanked the residents of Shirenewton for voting for her. "I look forward to serving them in the next five years," she added.
Joe Davis (Welsh Labour) - 175
Bob Greenland (Welsh Conservative Party) - 399
Bob Greenland said: "I would like to give thanks to people of Devauden, I hope I will be able to serve you over the next five years."
Mr Greenland also paid tribute to his opponent Joe Davis. "I also want to thank my opponent," he added. "He is the youngest candidate in election, he has done extremely well both in the result and that he is prepared to stand for office at such a young age."
Magor with Undy
Frances Taylor (Independent) - 651
Paul Majewski (Welsh Conservative Party Candidate) - 388
Alun Clive Lloyd (Welsh Labour/Llafur Cymru) - 112
Frances Taylor said: “I think that this particular experience really demonstrates there is no equality of arms between an independent and candidate with a political party. I would like to thank with my family and the people who have supported me and I am looking forward to representing the people of Magor and Undy.”
Lisa Dymock (Welsh Conservative Party) - 626
Steve Griffiths (Welsh Labour) - 302
Lisa Dymock said: "Firstly I’d like to thank the party and the support they have given me, secondly I would like to thank my family for putting up with me the last six months and finally I would thank the residents for voting for me.”
Isobel Mary Brown (Independent) - 260
Virginia Hoselitz (Welsh Labour) - 110
Brian Strong (Welsh Conservative Party) - 596
Brian Strong said: "It has been a really good contest with Isobel, it was a clean fight thank you Isobel and I look forward to representing the people of Usk for the next five years."
Jan Butler (Welsh Conservative Party) - 217
Jane Smith (Welsh Labour) - 32
Val Smith (Independent) - 305
Val Smith: "I’m delighted to be re-elected to represent Llanbadoc ward. I’m very grateful for the people who decided to trust me again, I’ve been here a long time and looking forward to representing the ward again.”
Penny Jones (Welsh Conservative Party) - 403
Pennie Walker (Independent) - 154
Stuart Willcock (Welsh Labour) - 65
Alison Willott (Liberal Democrats) - 358
Penny Jones: “That was an interesting campaign it was not the easiest but successful in the end thank you to everyone who helped and most of all to the residents of Raglan who have supported me.”
Debby Blakebrough (Independent) - 636
Philip Bowyer (Welsh Labour) - 61
Christopher Edwards (Welsh Conservative Party) - 577
Debby Blakebrough: “Being re-elected is particularly special because it is an honour and it is the residents saying you did a good job. I love Trellech United, there is a real sense of community spirit in Trellech United and it makes my job a lot easier.”
Ian Chandler (Green Party) - 69
Ruth Edwards (Welsh Conservative Party) - 334
Ann Eggleton (Welsh Labour) - 81
David Evans (Independent) - 275
Ruth Edwards: “I thank all the staff here tonight and those who have sat at my five polling stations, I thank all my family and members and constituents in a rural ward, they have helped me enormously and I hope to serve them well.”