New Forest District Council in Hampshire, England is elected every four years.

Political control

Since the foundation of the council in 1973 political control of the council has been held by the following parties:[1]

Party in control Years
Independent 1973 - 1976
Conservative 1976 - 1991
No overall control 1991 - 1995
Liberal Democrats 1995 - 1999
Conservative 1999–present

Previously New Forest District Council was controlled by the Independent Group, however the Conservatives entered into talks with several independents and the Party later decided to field candidates for the 1973 Local Election. Subsequently, from 1976 to 1991 the Conservatives had the majority on New Forest District Council, although after the 1991 Local Election the Conservatives remained the largest Party but became a minority administration. This was due to two factors, firstly the unpopularity of the national Conservative Government, and secondly the rise of the Liberal Democrats after the merger of the SDP and Liberal Parties.

In 1995 the Lib Dems won control of the District Council and formed a majority administration, the first political party other than the Conservatives to do so. The result was a concern for local Conservatives who subsequently feared that the new parliamentary constituencies for the New Forest (NF East & NF West) could be lost to the Lib Dems at the upcoming 1997 General Election. Nevertheless, both seats were won by the Tories despite a crushing national defeat that resulted in a landslide Labour Government. Locally the Liberal Democrat administration in the New Forest became very unpopular. Firstly the Council increased taxes by upwards of 40% over four years and secondly the administration introduced car parking charges in Council owned car parks despite winning a majority on the promise not to do so.

In a surprising result that came as a shock to many, the Conservatives won a majority of two at NFDC after the 1999 Local Election. This was especially traumatic for the Lid Dems who expected to remain in control of the Council, not least because of the unpopularity of the national Conservative Party. At the 2003 Election the Conservatives increased their majority slightly, and by 2007 the Tories won a solid majority taking 46 of the 60 seats. At the 2011 Local Election, encouraged by the growing popularity of the Conservatives in Coalition Government, the Tories had their first landslide and won 54 of the 60 seats leaving the Lib Dems with only 6 representatives. In 2014 the Tories lost two Councillors after defections to UKIP.

In 2015 the Local Elections coincided with the General Election. Both New Forest Parliamentary constituencies were won with almost 60% of the popular vote. The Tories left the Lib Dems 'feeling blue' after a second landslide which resulted in 58 Conservative Councillors and only 2 Lib Dems. UKIP, who were expected to make significant gains in the New Forest, were unable to increase their numbers of representative and lost their only two Councillors, both of whom were formerly Conservative defectors.

Following the re-emergence of the Liberal Democrats following the European Union Referendum in 2016, the Liberal Democrats gained 11 seats from the Conservatives in the 2019 Local Election to take their total to 13. The Conservatives also lost a seat to an Independent candidate in Lymington Town to leave the final make-up of New Forest District Council as 46 Conservatives, 13 Lib Dems, and 1 Independent.

New boundaries are due to come into force in December 2020,[2] with the next local election due to take place in 2023.

Political Party 1995 1999 2003 2007 2011 2015 2019
Conservative 23 30 32 44 54 58 46
Liberal Democrats 31 25 27 14 6 2 13
Independent 4 3 1 2 0 0 1

Council elections

District results map

By-election results

1995-1999

Ringwood North By-Election 17 September 1998[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Waddington 503 61.6 +21.4
Liberal Democrats Veronica Sullivan 313 38.4 +1.4
Majority 190 23.2
Turnout 816 21.1
Conservative hold Swing

1999-2003

Bashley By-Election 7 June 2001[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jill Cleary 2,186 57.1 -7.5
Liberal Democrats Margaret Newlands 1,638 42.8 +21.3
Majority 548 14.3
Turnout 3,824 59.7
Conservative hold Swing
Becton By-Election 22 November 2001[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Godfrey Beck 692 61.0 -7.6
Liberal Democrats Margaret Newlands 442 39.0 +7.6
Majority 250 22.0
Turnout 1,134 21.5
Conservative hold Swing
Milford By-Election 21 February 2002[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Brian Pemberton 781 74.0 +2.4
Liberal Democrats Jasqueline Szwaczka 275 26.0 +8.7
Majority 506 48.0
Turnout 1,056 25.6
Conservative hold Swing
Pennington By-Election 21 February 2002[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Paul Hickman 1,079 70.6 +25.4
Conservative Penelope Beasley 449 29.4 -11.2
Majority 630 41.2
Turnout 1,528 34.8
Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative Swing
Ringwood North By-Election 21 February 2002[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Lorna Ford 337 47.5 -13.2
Independent Stephen Wright 203 28.6 +28.6
Liberal Democrats Peter Chambers 169 23.8 -2.0
Majority 134 18.9
Turnout 709 18.2
Conservative hold Swing

2003-2007

Holbury and North Blackfield By-Election 5 February 2004[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Lee Dunsdon 772 75.2 +3.5
Conservative Robert Wappet 210 20.4 -7.9
Labour Philip Annette 45 4.4 +4.4
Majority 562 54.8
Turnout 1,027 21.4
Liberal Democrats hold Swing
Ringwood East & Sopley By-Election 5 May 2005[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Christopher Treleaven 953 64.4 -11.6
Liberal Democrats Peter Chambers 527 35.6 +11.6
Majority 426 28.8
Turnout 1,480 68.8
Conservative hold Swing
Totton West By-Election 20 July 2006[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Leonard Harris 535 48.1 +0.3
Conservative Diana Brooks 498 44.8 -7.4
Labour Alan Goodfellow 79 7.1 +7.1
Majority 37 3.3
Turnout 1,112 28.5
Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative Swing
Barton By-Election 25 January 2007[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Frances Carpenter 990 56.9 -16.7
Liberal Democrats Wynford Davies 426 24.5 -1.9
Independent Jeremy May 277 15.9 +15.9
Labour Peter Dance 48 2.8 +2.8
Majority 564 32.4
Turnout 1,741 36.7
Conservative hold Swing

2007-2011

The 2007 Brahmshaw, Copythorne Noorth and Minstead By-Election was held after a candidate for the 2007 local election died, postponing the election for that ward.

Bramshaw, Copythorne North and Minstead By-Election 14 June 2007[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Henry Forse 436 78.0 +4.9
Liberal Democrats Anthony Gray 123 22.0 -4.9
Majority 313 56.0
Turnout 559 26.2
Conservative hold Swing
Ringwood South By-Election 19 June 2008[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jeremy Heron 610 58.6 +25.1
Liberal Democrats Peter Chambers 354 32.9 +12.3
Labour Peter Harper 113 10.5 +1.6
Majority 256 25.7
Turnout 1,077 23.3
Conservative gain from Independent Swing

2011-2015

2015-2019

2019-2023

References

  1. ^ "New Forest". BBC News Online. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  2. ^ "LGBCE | New Forest | LGBCE Site". www.lgbce.org.uk. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  3. ^ legislation.gov.uk - The District of New Forest (Electoral Arrangements) Order 1976. Retrieved on 19 November 2015.
  4. ^ The New Forest and Southampton (Areas) Order 1978
  5. ^ legislation.gov.uk - The Dorset, Hampshire, West Sussex and Wiltshire (County Boundaries) Order 1991. Retrieved on 5 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Local elections". BBC News Online. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  7. ^ legislation.gov.uk - The District of New Forest (Parishes and Electoral Changes) Order 2001. Retrieved on 4 October 2015.
  8. ^ legislation.gov.uk - The New Forest (Electoral Changes) Order 2011. Retrieved on 3 November 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "District Council By-Election Results 1998 - 2003". New Forest District Council. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  10. ^ a b c d "District Council By-Election Results 2004 - 2007". New Forest District Council. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  11. ^ "By-election for district council Bramshaw, Copythorne North and Minstead ward - 14 June 2007 - report of the returning officer" (PDF). New Forest District Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  12. ^ "District Council Election - Ringwood South Ward - 19 June 2008 - Results". New Forest District Council. Retrieved 15 September 2009.