Elections 2019: Tories left with mixed feelings on election night in Greater Lincolnshire

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It was a night of mixed feelings and disdain for national politics across Greater Lincolnshire for the Conservative Party, which gained one council, but saw its majority crumble at another.

The Tories suffered reduced majorities elsewhere in the county, which its local leadership blamed on Brexit.

With an average turnout of around 30 per cent across the county, voters decided to make their voices heard to the two major parties.

Elections 2019: Conservatives retain control of West Lindsey District Council

Both West Lindsey and South Kesteven saw the Conservatives reduced in seats, while the party managed a four seat swing in North East Lincolnshire to take control.

It’s the first time in 23 years that the Tories have gained power on the authority.

But, it was in North Kesteven where the party were hit hardest as they lost eight seats to the independents.

Again, the Conservative leadership blamed Brexit and “Westminster turmoil” for its losses.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party also suffered across the county.

Despite keeping hold on the City of Lincoln Council, the party failed to make a dent in Tory strongholds elsewhere.

In fact, Labour had a disastrous night in North East Lincolnshire where the Conservatives took three seats from the group and, ultimately, control of the council.

Former cabinet members, David Bolton and Peter Wheatley, suffered shocking defeats as the Tories swept to power.

A further blow was dealt as former council leader Ray Oxby’s South ward seat also fell to the Conservatives to round off a dismal night for Labour.

Meanwhile, in North Lincolnshire, the party lost one seat to the Tories who increased their majority.

Labour still holds 16 seats on the authority, despite long-serving Councillor David Oldfield’s ward falling to the Conservatives.

But, it was the independents who can celebrate after gaining seats and eating into majorities across the county.

The group made gains in South Kesteven by taking five seats from the Conservatives.

It was in North Kesteven where the independents made the most inroads, leaving the council with no party in overall control.

Gains were also made by the Liberal Democrats in West Lindsey as the party won a further five seats.

The results reflect what candidates felt on the doorstep, a local campaign dominated by national politics.

For the most part, Brexit has crowded out local issues and, as a result, major parties have been punished.