Last week’s West Sussex County Council elections saw the Conservatives win in Crawley by almost 2000 votes over Labour which equated to a Conservative vote share in Crawley of 46% to Labour’s 38%. We were delighted to gain the Three Bridges County Council seat from Labour to take our Crawley total to four County Councillors to Labour’s five.
Our election victory last week was only the second time that the Conservatives have ever returned more than three County Councillors in Crawley. This was all the more remarkable given that we are seven years into government and it is usually opposition parties that make gains in local elections. For example, when we were seven years into the last Labour government in 2004, we Conservatives gained 8 Crawley Borough Council seats in the local elections that year.
Our elected candidates of Charles Petts in Three Bridges & Pound Hill South, Bob Lanzer in Maidenbower & Worth, Richard Burrett in Pound Hill, and myself in Tilgate & Furnace Green, along with Nigel Boxall who was elected in a Crawley Borough Council by-election in Maidenbower on the same day, all offer our sincere thanks to everyone who supported us.
Our remaining five Crawley candidates who narrowly missed out on being elected, Kim Jaggard in Southgate & Gossops Green, Ian Pendlington in Northgate & West Green, Brenda Burgess in Langley & Ifield East, Irshad Jalaldeen in Broadfield and Duncan Peck in Bewbush & Ifield West, also wish to offer their thanks for the support they received.
Despite us winning convincingly in Crawley, Labour still won five seats to our four. Some areas did have large majorities and others small majorities. For example my own majority in Tilgate & Furnace Green was larger than the combined majorities of four out of Labour’s five County Councillors. However, what was very telling was Labour blaming boundary changes for them losing a seat. Labour clearly felt they deserved to win six seats to the Conservatives three with their Crawley vote share of 38% to our 46% - clear evidence of Labour’s agenda of unfairness in securing advantage for themselves.