The Conservative’s grip on Scarborough Town Hall has been firmly tightened, after the party stormed to victory in the Borough Council election.
While sea mist engulfed Scarborough’s Spa Complex, Friday’s count brought clarity to the council, with the Tory’s gaining a majority - while UKIP’s prophetic prediction of eight seats failed to materialise.
The Conservatives moved from 25 to 26 councillors, although no party remained unscathed from the electorate’s wrath, with a number of high-profile councillors unceremoniously ditched by voters.
Among them was outgoing Mayor Pat Marsburg, while both Jane Kenyon and Peter Popple were both voted out.
UKIP’S Mike Ward lost his Streonshalh seat by just five votes.
“I could use an expression to a certain extent, that it’s been a wonderful year for me and it seems like a fitting time to bow out,” said Cllr Marsburg,
In their place are several new faces on the 50-strong council, which is set to be spearheaded by Cllr Derek Bastiman, after he exclusively told The Scarborough News he fully expects to replace Tom Fox this week.
“I will hopefully go into council and be elected leader of the council on Tuesday”, said Cllr Bastiman, who stormed to victory in Scalby, Hackness and Staintondale.
“We have a meeting tomorrow morning to elect the leader of the Conservative group and I will be pitching to become leader of the council at Tuesday’s council meeting.”
“It’s been my intention ever since Tom announced he wasn’t taking the leadership any further.
“It’s nothing new to certain people.”
The Labour group won a combined 14 seats, with the Green Party winning two seats and three independent gaining re-election.
Mirroring their poor performance nationally, the Liberal Democrats failed to win a single seat - finishing dead last in several wards.
But UKIP, one of the main stories heading into the election, failed to make real inroads into town hall.
Before Friday, no councillor had ever been elected on the party’s ticket, but UKIP top-brass were supremely confident heading into the vote.
A candidate stood in every ward, but it claimed just five seats - with two of those in Filey alone.
The seven-hour count followed Thursday’s General Election, in which Robert Goodwill was re-elected as Scarborough’s MP.
His success and that of his government has resulted in UKIP’s Nigel Fargage, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and his Labour counterpart Ed Miliband stepping down.
“The Labour Party is in shock,” said ex-Scarborough Labour Group leader Eric Broadbent, who has tipped bookie’s favourite Andy Burnham to replace Miliband.
“It’s now about rebuilding now and saying let’s reorganise and re-assess.
“No rash decisions - let’s go through the leadership process and do it again.”
Just under two thirds of registered voters cast their ballot in the local election, with 63.44 per cent turning out.
Among them was one 101-year-old in Lindhead, who physically cast her vote at the polling station.
But it was youth that turned out to be one of the stories of the count, with several candidates under the age 30.
These included 19-year-old Calvin Simmons, who won 349 votes for the Conservatives in Eastfield.
But not everyone had a day to remember.
National Front candidate Trisha Scott trailed in dead last in the Woodlands ward - with just 11 votes.
See The Scarborough News on Thursday for full coverage.