Upset as Farnham Residents oust two out of three Tories

By Surrey and Hants News in Politics

There was an upset in two of the three Farnham divisions in yesterday’s county council elections when Farnham Residents candidates Andy MacLeod and Stephen Spence took Farnham Central and Farnham North respectively from the Conservatives, standing on a platform of local issues rather than national parties. Conservative Robert Ramsdale retained his seat in Farnham South.

In Farnham Central, the previous incumbent Conservative Pat Frost was beaten into third place behind Liberal Democrat candidate Jo Aylwin. Andy MacLeod received 1,754 votes, 43 per cent of those cast, while Jo Aylwin polled 1,085 (27 per cent), narrowly ahead of Pat Frost on 1,057 (26 per cent). The Green Party candidate, Fiona Scimore, received four per cent of the vote - 164. Turnout was 41 per cent.

In Farnham North, Stephen Spence, polled 1,606 of the 3,547 votes cast (45 per cent), nine per cent more than the Conservative, and Farnham’s Deputy Mayor Mike Hodge who received 1,274. The Liberal Democrats were in third place with 437 votes (12 per cent) for Rob Walton, with the Green Party’s Dave Beynon polling six per cent with 230 votes. Turnout was 36 per cent.

The Conservatives kept Farnham South by a slim majority which saw the defending incumbent Robert Ramsdale receiving 1,526 votes (39 per cent), narrowly beating Farnham Mayor John Ward standing for Farnham Residents who polled 1,463 (37 per cent). This six-horse race also saw Mark Turner (Liberal Democrat) poll 550 votes (14 per cent), Labour’s Andrew Jones and the independent candidate Mark Westcott polling four per cent with 148 and 140 votes respectively and UKIP’s Jim Burroughs receiving 86 votes (two per cent). Turnout was 40 per cent.

The Conservatives retained overall control of Surrey, taking 61 of the 81 seats with nine going to the Liberal Democrats, five to residents’ associations, four to independent candidates and one each to Labour and the Green Party.