This is proving an interesting election. No one is doubting that the Conservatives will form the next Shropshire Council administration from Monday. But there are strong messages coming from the electorate that they want more action on green matters and the climate emergency, and on areas outside Shrewsbury.
For the first time, a Labour candidate has been elected for Bridgnorth following years of the town being badly served, some would say dissed, by its Conservative representatives.
There is a kick in the whatsits for the Tory leadership in the county. David Minnery in Market Drayton was deselected due to a perceived lack of loyalty, probably one of the few times a political party has deselected a cabinet portfolio holder. Today, David is back as an independent. He and I are not allies but I welcome the challenge he is giving the local party leadership.
We will learn whether that council leadership is outgoing by the end of the day.
The Greens are gaining vote share across the county, though not evenly, and have picked up two seats from the Tories.
The two seats in the combined Church Stretton and Craven Arms division have returned again for the Tories. The Greens and Lib Dems were snapping at their heels and the combined vote of these green leaning parties was 2,915, easily beating the 2,538 votes for the Tories. These is a lesson here for how we can get stronger and greener representation for this chalk and cheese division in future elections.
Julia Buckley becomes the first Labour councillor on Shropshire unitary authority for Bridgnorth. That has broken a mould and the town might now be better represented. The Green vote in Bridgnorth was dismal, clocking up just 249 of 7,946 votes cast in the two divisions.
The Lib Dems have retained Abbey in Shrewsbury.
I cannot think of ever agreeing on anything with David Minnery, who has been returned for Market Drayton West. He was deselected by the Tories when he was still cabinet portfolio holder for finance. He stood as an independent against his Tory replacement and won.
Peter Nutting’s manoeuvrings to keep himself in post as council leader look doomed to fail. He may not even keep his seat – hopefully.
Only 23 of 74 seats have been declared as I publish this. More to come before the end of the day and tomorrow.
Declared seats by party (1pm Saturday)
- Conservatives: 12
- Green: 2
- Labour: 5
- Lib Dems: 1
- Independent: 1
- Other: 0.
Full results. Shropshire Council is updating its twitter feed as declarations are made.