2019 Guildford Borough Council election
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All 48 seats to Guildford Borough Council
24 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
 
Leader Caroline Reeves Joss Bigmore Paul Spooner
Party Liberal Democrats R4GV Conservative
Leader's seat Friary & St Nicolas Christchurch Ash South & Tongham
Last election 9 seats, 22.32% New party 35 seats, 46.77%
Seats won 17 15 9
Seat change Increase8 Increase15 Decrease26
Popular vote 24,786 20,488 26,047
Percentage 28.1% 23.2% 29.6%
Swing Increase5.8 New party Decrease17.2

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
 
Leader Susan Parker Angela Gunning Diana Jones
Party GGG Labour Green
Leader's seat Send Stoke Tillingbourne
Last election 3 seats, 13.02% 1 seats, 11.08% 0 seats, 2.83%
Seats won 4 2 1
Seat change Increase1 Increase1 Increase1
Popular vote 6,917 8,713 1,229
Percentage 7.8% 9.9% 1.4%
Swing Decrease5.2 Decrease1.2 Decrease1.4

2019 election Guildford Borough Council.png
Map showing the results of the 2019 Guildford Borough Council elections. Numbers indicate the number of councillors elected by each ward. Yellow showing Liberal Democrats, Magenta showing R4GV, blue showing Conservative, dark green showing Guildford Greenbelt Group, red showing Labour and light green showing Green. Striped wards have mixed representation.

Council control before election

Conservative

Council control after election

No Overall Control

The 2019 Guildford Borough Council election were held on 2 May 2019, to elect all 48 seats to the Guildford Borough Council in Surrey, England as part of the 2019 local elections.[1]

The Liberal Democrats won the most seats (17), the Residents for Guildford and Villages, a new political party formed in early 2019, came second with 15 seats, while the ruling Conservatives lost their majority coming third with 9 seats. Other parties such as the Guildford Greenbelt Group (4), the Labour Party (2) and the Green Party (1) won seats.[2][3]

Background

Since the 2015 local election, there had been changes to the political make up of the council. Prior to the election Labour had gained one seat from the Conservatives in the Stoke by-election in May 2016, and a total of four councillors had defected from their parties to sit as an Independent Alliance group. Two Conservative councillors, Tony Rooth (a former council leader) and Bob McShee, defected to sit as independents in May 2018 and were joined by Colin Cross from the Liberal Democrats in November 2018. All of them cited dissatisfaction with their group leaderships as reasons for defection, particularly in relation to issues around Guildford's draft Local Plan[4][5] In February 2019 a further Conservative councillor, Nils Christiansen, defected to the independent group.[6]

In the run up to the election the Independent Alliance councillors were involved in the creation of a new party, Residents for Guildford and Villages (R4GV), to contest the borough elections on a platform of changing the Local Plan. The creation of the new party was supported by individuals who had been active within the Guildford Society and the Guildford Vision Group (a civic society group campaigning for alternative planning policies within Guildford town), and was led by a local investor, Joss Bigmore.[7][8] Three of the four independent councillors were involved in the creation of R4GV and joined it to stand for re-election under the party label.[9]

The Local Plan proved a controversial topic in the run-up to the election, having already provided an impetus for the creation of the Guildford Greenbelt Group (GGG) party prior to the 2015 election (where it had won three seats).The draft Local Plan set out plans for the building 10,678 new houses by 2034, including three major 'strategic sites' located on green belt land, and became one of the main issues of the 2019 election campaign. A vote on adopting the Local Plan was scheduled by the Conservative administration for 25 April 2019, just one week before the election, attracting criticism from opposition parties who claimed this was a violation of the pre-election "purdah" period.[10] Despite public protests, and attempts by opposition parties to defer the vote until after the local election, the vote went ahead as scheduled with a majority of councillors voting to adopt the Local Plan.[11][12]

During the election campaign the parties contesting the election set out their positions on a range of issues. The Conservatives, as the incumbent administration, defended the Local Plan and their record of running Guildford Borough Council, especially in the area of arts and culture, arguing that a re-elected Conservative administration would "enhance" the borough's sporting, community and recreational facilities.[13][14] The Liberal Democrats, as the main opposition group, outlined plans to protect the environment, take action on climate change and build more social housing.[15][16] R4GV and GGG both campaigned on making changes to the Local Plan and on the basis that they would be an improvement over the presence of national political parties in local government.[17][18] Labour argued that they were the only party offering real change in Guildford and advocated investment in public services.[19]

At the election R4GV and GGG co-operated, standing candidates together in two wards and not standing against each other in other wards, but only stood a total of 21 candidates between them. The Liberal Democrats stood 32 candidates, not contesting some wards, whilst the Conservatives contested every ward. In the run up to the election there was media speculation and analysis suggesting that R4GV and the Liberal Democrats had been selective in where they had stood candidates in order to maximise the anti-Conservative vote.[20]

Summary

Guildford Borough Council Election, 2019
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Liberal Democrats 17 9 1 +8 35.4 28.1 24,786
  R4GV 15 15 0 +15 31.3 23.2 20,488
  Conservative 9 0 26 -26 18.8 29.6 26,047
  GGG 4 1 0 +1 8.3 7.8 6,917
  Labour 2 1 0 +1 4.2 9.9 8,713
  Green 1 1 0 +1 2.1 1.4 1,229
  Peace 0 0 0 0 0 0.5 459
  Independent 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 128

Number of councillors per ward is shown in brackets after the ward name.

Wards won solely by the Liberal Democrats – Burpham (2); Friary & St Nicolas (3); Effingham (1); Onslow (3); Stoughton (3); Westborough (3)

Wards won solely by Residents for Guildford and Villages (R4GV) – Christchurch (3); Holy Trinity (3); Lovelace (1); Pilgrims (1); Worplesdon (3)

Wards won solely by the Conservatives – Ash Vale (2); Ash Wharf (2); Pirbright (1); Normandy (1)

Wards won solely by Guildford Greenbelt Group – Send (2)

Wards won solely by Labour – Stoke (2)

Wards electing councillors of more than one party – Ash South & Tongham (3 – 2 Con, 1 R4GV); Clandon & Horsley (3 – 2 R4GV, 1 Guildford Greenbelt); Merrow (3 - 1 R4GV, 2 Lib Dem); Shalford (2 - 1 R4GV, 1 Guildford Greenbelt), Tillingbourne (2 - 1 Con, 1 Green)

The results saw the Conservatives lose control of Guildford Borough Council, falling from 31 seats to 9, making the Liberal Democrats the largest party on 17 seats.

Prior to the election, 3 councillors had defected from the Conservatives and 1 had defected from the Liberal Democrats to form the Independent Alliance on the council. The Independent Alliance registered Residents for Guildford and Villages as a political party to contest the 2019 elections and proceeded to win 15 seats.

The Guildford Greenbelt Group increased their representation to 4 seats whilst Labour maintained a by-election gain from the Conservatives to emerge with 2 seats.

The Green party also won their first seat on Guildford Borough Council in Tillingbourne ward.

Aftermath

Following the election the Green councillor chose to sit on the council as part of the R4GV group.

On 15 May 2019 councillors voted by 23 to 19 to elect the Liberal Democrat group leader, Caroline Reeves, as Leader of Guildford Borough Council over the leader of the R4GV group, Joss Bigmore. On 20 May 2019 Caroline Reeves announced that (including herself) the council's Cabinet would consist of 8 Liberal Democrats, 1 R4GV and 1 GGG councillor with an additional R4GV councillor attending cabinet as a non-voting deputy.[21] However, on 27 August 2019 the GGG member of the Cabinet resigned and was subsequently replaced by an additional R4GV councillor (the formerly non-voting deputy member of the Cabinet).[22][23]

In May 2020 it was announced that an agreement had been reached between the Liberal Democrats and R4GV to rotate the council leadership between them as part of a coalition arrangement which saw four Liberal Democrat councillors leave the council's Cabinet and be replaced by two R4GV councillors to create an evenly split cabinet of four Liberal Democrat and four R4GV councillors.[24]

Ward by Ward

In each of the wards indicated with an *, one of the R4GV gains is a notional one due to one councillor elected in the ward in 2015 having already defected to R4GV prior to the 2019 election being called. In all wards a 'gain' is defined as a seat gained from the party who won it at the most recent election even if the party who won it in 2015 no longer held it going in to the 2019 election.

Ash South & Tongham (top 3 candidates elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Graham Eyre 973 51.6
R4GV Paul Abbey 961 51.0
Conservative Paul Spooner 853 45.3
Conservative Nigel Kearse 817 43.3
Liberal Democrats Philip Buckley 519 27.5
Liberal Democrats Sinclair Webster 484 25.7
Turnout 1,885 30.45
Conservative hold Swing
R4GV gain from Conservative Swing
Conservative hold Swing
Ash Vale (top 2 candidates elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Nigel Manning 631 57.9
Conservative Marsha Moseley 619 56.8
Liberal Democrats Miranda Hoegen 477 43.8
Turnout 1,089 25.6
Conservative hold Swing
Conservative hold Swing
Ash Wharf (top 2 candidates elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jo Randall 763 58.4
Conservative Andrew Gomm 756 57.9
Green Sam Richards 484 37.1
Liberal Democrats Roslyn McMillan 294 22.5
Turnout 1,306 28.34
Conservative hold Swing
Conservative hold Swing
Burpham (top 2 candidates elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Ted Mayne 972 53.8
Liberal Democrats George Potter 922 51.0
Conservative Christian Holliday 610 33.7
Conservative Mike Piper 568 31.4
Labour Sue Hackman 242 13.4
Labour Poppy Ni Bhroithe-Barnett 180 10.0
Majority
Turnout 1,808 42.67
Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative Swing
Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative Swing
Christchurch (top 2 candidates elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
R4GV Joss Bigmore 1,042 50.5
R4GV Dennis Booth 845 40.9
Conservative Matt Furniss 673 32.6
Conservative Nikki Nelson-Smith 608 29.4
Liberal Democrats Paul Hienkens 450 21.8
Labour Joan O'Byrne 193 9.3
Labour Mark Redhead 143 6.9
Majority
Turnout 2,065 47.86
R4GV gain from Conservative Swing
R4GV gain from Conservative Swing
Clandon & Horsley (top 3 candidates elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
GGG Catherine-Anne Young 2,907 76.7
R4GV Tim Anderson 2,726 71.9
R4GV Christopher Barrass 2,666 70.3
Conservative Jonathan Rogerson 947 25.0
Conservative Caroline Heath-Taylor 704 18.6
Conservative Alex Fiuza 532 14.0
Majority
Turnout 3,790 55
GGG hold Swing
R4GV gain from Conservative Swing
R4GV gain from Conservative Swing
Effingham (top 1 candidate elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Liz Hogger 529 56.8
GGG Ben Paton 245 26.3
Conservative Christopher Jay 147 15.8
Majority 284 30.5
Turnout 931 44.93
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Friary & St Nicolas (top 3 candidates elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Caroline Reeves 1,371 58.9
Liberal Democrats Angela Goodwin 1,332 52.4
Liberal Democrats Tom Hunt 1,134 44.6
R4GV Fiona Davidson 907 35.7
Conservative John De Wit 409 16.1
Conservative Bill Stokoe 405 15.9
Labour Elizabeth Mpyisi 381 15.0
Labour Brian Creese 336 13.2
Conservative Vaibhav Pant 331 13.0
Labour Chris Pegman 311 12.2
Majority
Turnout 2,541 37.6
Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative Swing
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Holy Trinity Ward (top 3 candidates elected) *
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
R4GV Maddy Redpath 968 37.9
R4GV John Redpath 932 36.5
R4GV John Rigg 911 35.7
Liberal Democrats Ciarán Doran 860 33.7
Liberal Democrats Jennifer Gale 834 32.7
Liberal Democrats Stephen Mallet 644 25.2
Conservative Alexandra Chesterfield 617 24.2
Conservative Geoff Davis 615 24.1
Conservative Gerry Lytle 559 21.9
Labour Gregory Clack 211 8.3
Labour Chris Pegman 184 7.2
Labour Alexander Scott 154 6.0
Majority
Turnout 2,551 42.04
R4GV gain from Conservative Swing
R4GV gain from Conservative Swing
R4GV gain from Conservative Swing
Lovelace (top 1 candidate elected) *
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
R4GV Colin Cross 789 90.5
Conservative Julie Iles 83 9.5
Majority 707
Turnout 882 45.56
R4GV gain from Liberal Democrats Swing
Merrow (top 3 candidates elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
R4GV Deborah Seabrook 1,731 62.9
Liberal Democrats Steven Lee 1,047 38.1
Liberal Democrats Jan Harwood 976 35.5
Conservative Jennifer Jordan 856 31.1
Conservative Philip Brooker 789 28.7
Conservative Graham Ellwood 656 23.9
Labour John Hawthorne 345 12.5
Labour Michael Hill 327 11.9
Labour Michael Hassell 294 10.7
Majority
Turnout 2,750 45.9
R4GV gain from Conservative Swing
Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative Swing
Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative Swing
Normandy (top 1 candidate elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Bilbé 451 41.7
Liberal Democrats Henry Kay 382 35.3
GGG Peter Elliott 248 22.9
Majority
Turnout 1094 44.4
Conservative hold Swing
Onslow (top 3 candidates elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats David Goodwin 891 47.5
Liberal Democrats Jon Askew 819 43.6
Liberal Democrats Will Salmon 815 43.4
R4GV Howard Moss 775 41.3
Conservative Adrian Chandler 419 22.3
Conservative Helen Harris 399 21.3
Labour Jacob Allen 336 17.9
Labour Richard Mithen 301 16.0
Conservative Neil Ward 187 10.0
Majority
Turnout 1,877 34.93
Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative Swing
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Pilgrims (top 1 candidate elected) *
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
R4GV Tony Rooth 507 65.0
Conservative Sallie Barker 370 35.0
Majority
Turnout 890 52.46
R4GV gain from Conservative Swing
Pirbright (top 1 candidate elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Gordon Jackson 392 67.4
Liberal Democrats Russel Sherrard-Smith 127 21.8
Labour Akanshya Gurung 63 10.8
Majority
Turnout 587 29.31
Conservative hold Swing
Send (top 2 candidates elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
GGG Patrick Sheard 1,217 75.5
GGG Susan Parker 1,150 71.3
Conservative Julia Osborn 357 22.1
Conservative Alexander Stewart-Clark 234 14.5
Labour Rob Woof 139 8.6
Majority
Turnout 1,612 47.56
GGG hold Swing
GGG hold Swing
Shalford (top 2 candidates elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
R4GV Chris Blow 825 46.1
GGG Ramsey Nagaty 637 35.6
Conservative Michael Parsons 489 27.3
Conservative Bob Hughes 431 24.1
Liberal Democrats Jillian Doran 336 18.8
Liberal Democrats Vanessa King 294 16.4
Labour Tim Wolfenden 181 10.1
Independent Mark Taylor 128 7.1
Majority
Turnout 1,791 42.92
R4GV gain from Conservative Swing
GGG gain from Conservative Swing
Stoke (top 2 candidates elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Angela Gunning 648 52.1
Labour James Walsh 496 39.9
Liberal Democrats Lizzie Griffiths 424 34.1
Conservative Paul Mackie 338 27.2
Conservative Tay-Jarl Andessen 295 23.7
Majority
Turnout 1,244 28.11
Labour hold Swing
Labour hold Swing
Stoughton (top 3 candidates elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Pauline Searle 1,476 61.1
Liberal Democrats Gillian Harwood 1,431 59.2
Liberal Democrats Masuk Miah 1,317 54.5
Conservative David Quelch 574 23.7
Conservative Philip Hooper 513 21.2
Labour Anne Rouse 430 17.8
Labour Shelley Grainger 399 16.5
Conservative Malachy Ujam 377 15.6
Labour Nick Trier 337 13.9
Majority
Turnout 2,417 35.01
Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative Swing
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Tillingbourne (top 2 candidates elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Richard Billington 825 49.8
Green Diana Jones 745 45.0
Conservative David Wright 734 44.3
Liberal Democrats Liam O'Keefe 679 41.0
Majority
Turnout 1,656 41.71
Conservative hold Swing
Green gain from Conservative Swing
Westborough (top 3 candidates elected)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Julia McShane 898 47.7
Liberal Democrats Fiona White 801 42.6
Liberal Democrats James Steel 779 41.4
Labour Amanda Creese 519 27.6
Labour George Dokimakis 493 26.2
Labour Howard Smith 468 24.9
Conservative Liz Hooper 311 16.5
Conservative Sheila Kirkland 311 16.5
Conservative Alastair Knowles 306 16.3
Peace John Morris 190 10.1
Peace Valerie Drummond 153 8.1
Peace Frances Worpe 116 6.2
Majority
Turnout 1,881 29.91
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative Swing
Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative Swing
Worplesdon (top 3 candidates elected) *
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
R4GV Bob McShee 1,308 54.3
R4GV Elizabeth McShee 1,160 48.2
R4GV Ruth Brothwell 1,003 41.6
Conservative David Elms 803 33.3
Conservative Keith Witham 762 31.6
Conservative Dennis Paul 675 28.0
Liberal Democrats Jonathan Edwards 472 19.6
Labour Ali Mirmak 307 12.7
Labour Dominic Stone 295 12.2
Majority
Turnout 2,409 37.99
R4GV gain from Conservative Swing
R4GV gain from Conservative Swing
R4GV gain from Conservative Swing

See also

References

  1. ^ Elections - May 2019 Archived 2019-04-22 at the Wayback Machine Guildford Borough Council
  2. ^ "Borough election results 2019". Guildford Borough Council.
  3. ^ "Tories Lose Overall Control of GBC – Election Results As They Were Announced". The Guildford Dragon. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Resigning councillor issues statement". The Guildford Dragon. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  5. ^ "Former Lib Dem councillor joins independent group at GBC". The Guildford Dragon. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  6. ^ "Another ex-Conservative joins Guildford's independent councillors". Get Surrey. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  7. ^ "New Group "Residents for Guildford and Villages" Call Meeting to Encourage More Independent Candidates". The Guildford Dragon. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  8. ^ "FDragon Interview: Joss Bigmore, Residents For Guildford & Villages (R4GV)". The Guildford Dragon. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  9. ^ "New Residents for Guildford Group Name 10 Independent Candidates for Council Seats". The Guildford Dragon. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  10. ^ "Opposition attacks Guildford Council for 'rush' to adopt controversial Local Plan before elections". Get Surrey. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  11. ^ "Lib Dems Will Be Supporting an Amended Motion to Defer Local Plan Adoption – Reactions". The Guildford Dragon. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  12. ^ "GBC Adopts Local Plan Despite Series of Protests And Objections". The Guildford Dragon. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  13. ^ "Opinion: Guildford – Surrey's Vibrant Cultural and Recreational Centre". The Guildford Dragon. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  14. ^ "Opinion: The Local Plan is Vital for Guildford – Vote Conservative". The Guildford Dragon. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  15. ^ "Opinion: For A Green Councillor Vote Liberal Democrat". The Guildford Dragon. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  16. ^ "Lib Dems Pledge Wide-Ranging 'Better Deal" in May Elections". The Guildford Dragon. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  17. ^ "Opinion: Be Brave, Vote for Change, Vote for R4GV". The Guildford Dragon. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  18. ^ "Opinion: For Sound Local Government Vote GGG". The Guildford Dragon. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  19. ^ "Opinion: Only Labour Can Provide Real Change in Guildford". The Guildford Dragon. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  20. ^ "Comment: Analysing the Most Dramatic Local Election in Living Memory". The Guildford Dragon. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  21. ^ "Lib Dem Leader Appoints Her New Team For Guildford Borough Council". Guildford Dragon. 20 May 2019.
  22. ^ "GBC Executive Shock as GGG's Susan Parker Resigns Over 'Conduct' Claim". Guildford Dragon. 27 August 2019.
  23. ^ "New Executive Member for Guildford Borough Council". Guildford Borough Council. 26 September 2019.
  24. ^ "Guildford Borough Council leadership to 'rotate' between Lib Dems and R4GV following 'new agreement'". Get Surrey. 7 May 2020.