Defeated Tories say UKIP’s election success was down to a national protest vote – and could harm Boston’s relationship with County Hall.
The Conservatives lost all-but-one of their six county council seats in Boston last week, with five taken by UKIP.
Boston Borough Council leader Peter Bedford was unseated from his county position by 27-year-old Felicity Ransome, the first of several shock results on the night.
Coun Bedford told The Standard that the night felt similar to the victory of the Boston Bypass Independents at the 2007 borough elections and that it had been difficult to see it coming.
Coun Bedford said: “Obviously part of it in Boston was the immigration situation but I do think this was a national protest vote.
“Obviously I am disappointed, I spent seven years’ hard work building the division up and getting it well represented.”
He also said Boston may now have a more difficult relationship with County Hall, adding: “It has been ‘Boston – blue, Lincolnshire – blue’ and there has been a good coming together with a lot of good work.”
Mike Brookes was the only Conservative to keep his seat in Boston, holding off the challenge of UKIP’s Jodie Sutton.
He thanked the people of Boston Rural for sticking with him and felt his colleagues had paid the price for the national political situation.
He said: “In local elections local councillors are used as canon fodder, unfortunately the electorate use them to send a message to the government really. It’s unfair.”
He added: “My worry is that Boston doesn’t suffer. No disrespect to the new councillors but we have got a lot of new young councillors who are inexperienced. They are going to have to hit the ground running and fight for the best for Boston. I hope they can do justice to the roles they have been given because make no mistake, the job they have been given is a big responsibility.”
Independent Alison Austin was also victorious, defeating UKIP’s Don Ransome in Boston South.
She said: “I will speak up for the people of Boston at Lincoln and do my best to get Boston back on the map of Lincolnshire as the second largest town in the county.
“I attribute my success to my having kept in touch with the people I represent as a local councillor over the last six years and listening to them.”
The results in full...
Boston Coastal: Peter Bedford (Con) 730, Paul Gleeson (Lab) 249, Felicity Ransome (UKIP) 826*. UKIP gain
Boston Fishtoft: Raymond Singleton-McGuire (Con) 606, Ossy Snell (Ind) 736, Elizabeth Ransome (UKIP) 837*, Mike Sheridan-Shinn (Lab) 197. UKIP gain
Boston East: Anne Dorrian (Ind) 164, Richard Dungworth (Lincs Ind) 156, Mike Gilbert (Con) 313, Paul Kenny (Lab & Co-op) 336, Sue Ransome (UKIP) 675*. UKIP gain
Boston South : Alison Austin (Lincs Ind) 889*, Jan Finch (Lab) 92, Don Ransome (UKIP) 786, Paul Skinner (Con) 310. Lincs Ind gain
Boston North West: Andrea Jenkyns (Con) 378, Tiggs Keywood-Wainwright (UKIP) 708*, Carol Taylor (Ind) 248, Paul Goodale (Lab) 285. UKIP gain
Boston West: Yvonne Gunter (Con) 344, Pam Kenny (Lab & Co-op) 310, Robert Lauberts (Ind) 338, Bob McAuley (UKIP) 806*. UKIP gain
Boston Rural: Mike Brookes (Con) 1163*, Norman Hart (Lab) 336, Jodie Sutton (UKIP) 1050. Cons hold
Donington Rural: Teelesh Bisnauthsing (Lib Dem) 32, Terry Davis (UKIP) 741, Jane King (Lincs Ind) 301, Sheena Ross (Lab) 147, Sue Wray (Con) 770*. Con hold
Spilsby Fen: Victoria Ayling (UKIP) 1077*, Christopher Burton (Ind) 108, Julia Pears (Ind) 153, Chris Prince (Lab) 258, Jim Swanson (Con) 1007. UKIP gain
Tattershall Castle: Betty Harvey (Con) 1097, Colin Mair (UKIP) 1112*, Neil Ward (Lab) 298. UKIP gain
Wainfleet & Burgh: Terry Chipchase (Lab) 306, Neil Cooper (Con) 819, Chris Pain (UKIP) 1265*. UKIP gain
Staniland South Boston Borough Council by-election: Pam Kenny (Lab & Co-op) 202, Robert Lauberts (Ind) 145, Bob McAuley (UKIP) 376*, Carl Richmond (Con) 124. UKIP gain