My contacts tell me that Labour held 2 seats in Crawley (Bewbush and Langley Green). That means losing seats in Ifield, Three Bridges, Southgate and Tilgate, presumably to the Tories. It is unlikely that any other seats changed hands.
That would give the Conservatives control of the council with 22 seats, a majority of 7. Labour would be on 12 and the Liberal Democrats on 3.
I haven’t seen the figures, so it’s hard to tell whether it represents a major change from last year. Southgate and Ifield were the scene of losses last year (and a nasty and inaccurate piece of hate mail went out in Ifield just before the election). Three Bridges was a seat in which the result was very close in 2004, and it was a hard ask to hold that seat. Tilgate is very disappointing, but the omens did look bad there yesterday.
Commiserations to the losing Labour candidates. Well done to Chris Cheshire and David Shreeves for their re-elections. Across the town this was a tough campaign, and we always knew that it would be an uphill struggle to hold all seats, let alone make any gains. But the members really pushed as hard as they could.
There are, of course, a few factors which overshadow the elections, some of which are beyond the controll of local councillors (Iraq, Blair, the Hospital). However, we can’t escape the fact that the Tories have consolidated power and have the momentum, and that there are local factors as well.