LOCAL ELECTIONS: Blue still shines bright

Pictures show general views of the Election Count at Blackpool Sports centre. Tony Williams and Paul Galley celebrate

Pictures show general views of the Election Count at Blackpool Sports centre. Tony Williams and Paul Galley celebrate

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It is business as usual for Blackpool’s Tory group after holding on to all its seats in the local elections.

That is the message from leader Tony Williams after seeing Labour’s majority increase by one.

A tense day at Blackpool Sports Centre was dragged out even longer by a recount on the final ward to declare.

The Conservatives came within two votes of picking up an extra seat as Lib Dem Douglas Green suffered the same fate as many of his colleagues around the country.

He failed to hold on to his Squires Gate seat but Tory candidate Gerard Walsh’s 802 votes was not enough to keep Labour’s Alistair Humphreys from winning, with 804 votes.

Coun Williams said afterwards: “It is quite clear there is an absolute divide between the North and South of Blackpool.

“The Conservative wards are enjoying growth from the economy.

“I think with the massive change in the national Government now the Conservatives have a clear command, things will change.

“As you see these good policies coming forward, people in Blackpool will obviously benefit.”

Nationally, the Tories won an overall majority, meaning they have enough seats to form a government by themselves - without the need for a coalition.

It comes after many pollsters predicted another hung Parliament and the need for parties to co-operate in order to govern.

Coun Williams added: “It is business as usual for us.

“We have learned a hell of a lot in the last six or seven weeks.

“We have actually formed a brilliant group - many people should have won seats for the Conservatives who unfortunately didn’t.

“We have got to make sure they win next time.”