Thanks to the people of West End
Well the elections are over in Eastleigh for another year and after last years results when the Liberal Democrats reached a high of 34 seats out of 44 it was looking difficult to better that this year. However after the votes were counted the result was amazing and humbling that the electorate of Eastleigh increased their backing for Liberal Democrat policies. There were 14 seats contested for the Borough Council the Liberal Democrat team managed to win 13 of them and only failed to win the normally safe Labour seat of Eastleigh South by 6 votes.
The seats won included 2 gains from the Conservative group and 1 from Labour and speaking after his win in West End South local Councillor David Goodall said :-
"I am truly thankful and humbled by the support shown to me in this election. After 5 years of being a Borough Councillor for West End I am very pleased that the level of support has increased and I wish to thank you those who voted for me."
And he added :-
"I would also wish to thank the team of local people who helped me by delivering election leaflets and of course the hard working local team who produced them."
The two gains from the Conservative group were in Hamble and here in West End, with local Parish Councillor Tony Noyce putting together a terrific campaign to win back the seat, after Steve Broomfield won it four years ago from long standing Liberal Democrat Councillor Martin Kyrle. Unfortunately for Martin Kyrle he was also the only Liberal Democrat defeat on the night, losing by just 6 votes to the Labour candidate in Eastleigh South, a ward which the Labour party have lost just once in the past 80 odd years.
Commenting on the elections Liberal Democrat group leader Keith House, said:
"We're naturally delighted but we're also humbled in that it's a terrific responsibility to be given the continuing trust of Eastleigh's electors. I think from a Liberal Democrat perspective we listen to the community, we trust the community and I think, therefore, we have been rewarded by the community"
The general conclusion amongst many people on the night is that if after 13 years in power the Liberal Democrats are still gaining seats from both of the other parties then they must be doing something right. And the plight of the main opposition was best summed up in the report in the Daily Echo from Duncan Eaton when he said :-
"The biggest shock came as for the first time ever the true blue stronghold of Hamble sailed into Liberal Democrat hands."