Tories hold on to West Sussex - but UKIP now main opposition

UKIP has been propelled to main opposition party on West Sussex County Council after the Lib Dems faced meltdown in the county elections.

Although UKIP secured ten seats and were in strong second place in many others, the Conservatives comfortably retained overall control of the authority.

Jim Rae, Shirley Rae, Nadya Cheek and Mary Quek

Jim Rae, Shirley Rae, Nadya Cheek and Mary Quek

Indeed, although the Tories suffered losses to UKIP they made significant gains themselves, largely at the expense of their former opposition party the Lib Dems.

But they paid a heavy price too for UKIP’s meteoric rise.

The county council chairman Mike Coleman lost his Nyetimber seat to UKIP Tony Sutcliffe while Conservative heavyweight Mark Dunn was ousted from his Bourne seat by UKIP’s Sandra James.

Midhurst, which would normally have been strong Tory ground, went to Independent Gordan Mcara after former Conservative John Cherry made headlines for alleged racist remarks.

Reflecting the national picture, UKIP came from nowhere to take second place sending shockwaves through True Blue West Sussex – even if it was bright yellow Lib Dems that suffered most.

The final make-up of the council is:

Conservative 46

UKIP 10

Lib Dems 8

Labour 6

Independent 1

Key gains for the Conservatives included:

Andy PETCH gains Hassocks & Victoria from Lib Dems

John DE MIERRE gains Haywards Heath East from Lib Dems

Ashwin PATEL gains Bognor Regis & Aldwick from Lib Dems

Anne JONES gains Burgess Hill East from Lib Dems

Jim RAE gains Roffey from Lib Dems

Daivd BARLING gains Bramber Castle from Lib Dem

Michael CLOAKE gains Worthing Pier from Independent

Sujan WICKREMARATCHI gains Haywards Heath Town from Labour

Bryan TURNER gains Broadwater from Lib Dems

Simon Oakley gains Chichester East from Lib Dems

Andrew BARRETT-MILES gains Burgess Hill Town

Roger OAKLEY gains Worthing East from Lib Dems

Peter METCALFE gains Kingston Buci from UKIP

The only crumb of comfort for the Lib Dems came when Ian BUCKLAND gained Littlehampton Town from the Conservatives.

Labour won four new seats in the Crawley area:

Michael JONES gains Southgate & Crawley Central

Peter LAMB gains NORTHGATE & THREE BRIDGES

Susan MULLINS wins GOSSOPS GREEN & IFIELD EAST

Brian QUINN wins BROADFIELD

But in the supersafe Tory stronghold that is West Sussex, as elsewhere in the country, the shockwaves came from UKIP:

Michael GLENNON gains Lancing from Conservatives

Sandra JAMES gains Bourne

Tony SUTCLIFFE gains Nyetimber

Joan PHILLIPS gains Middleton from Conservatives

Graham LEWIS gains Felpham from Conservatives

Mick CLARK gains Saltings from Conservatives

Ann Rapnik gains Bersted from Lib Dems

Bernard SMITH gains Selsey from Conservatives

Lionel PARSONS gains Sompting & North Lancing from Conservatives

Trixie HALL gains Durrington & Salvington from Conservatives