There were five principal council elections held on the 26th February. The Tories held two seats and gained one from the Ratepayers. Labour gained a seat from the Lib Dems. The Lib Dems gained one seat off the Tories. There was one Town and Parish Council result reported to ALDC which the Tories held.

In Epsom and Ewell we had two by-elections running concurrently. Wisely we focussed on our defence in Court Ward. At the time of writing the post mortem has yet to be held but it looks likely that, as usual, more than one cause led to our defeat. However one of the stronger reasons seems to have been the messages from the opposition. In 2007 we caught Labour napping. With two strong local issues we took all three seats. Unfortunately at the time of the by-election neither issue had been visibly resolved. This gave Labour plenty of ammunition combined with a more resilient Tory vote to let them slip back in.

On East Devon District council in the Honiton St. Michaels Ward theOur winning Honiton team Tories were complacent and stood a candidate from outside the Ward. The Labour PPC lived in the Ward yet they gave up and failed to stand a candidate. We stood a well-respected Town councillor. The campaign was competent but nothing special. In 2003 we only stood two candidates in a three councillor ward – a simple tactical mistake and we lost. In 2007 we did not even stand a candidate making the victory even more dramatic.

Remember the regulated period for European Election Expenses has started (5th Feb – 4th June). If you are any doubt a ) include either a joint local election /Euro election imprint or b) if you’ve no locals election in June then use the Euro Election imprint on all materials or literature you use in the regulated period. Start now to keep copies of literature and their associated invoices to help your Local Party Treasurer submit his part of the Euro Election expense return after polling day. Your Local Party Treasurer will have received a letter from Cowley Street with further details.

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