The final results came just after 4 this morning and we left the count as the dawn broke over Rayleigh.
Here’s the outcome :
UKIP gained their first 3 seats – Great Wakering & Foulness, and Trinity ward from the Conservatives, and Grange Ward from the Lib Dems. But after two early gains their challenge fizzled out a bit. They failed to take Hawkwell North (where they only lost by 25 votes last year) and Whitehouse (where they only lost by 7 last year). UKIP now have 3 seats , and are equal in size to the Lib Dem group.
Labour gained a seat, after being completely absent from the council for some years. The Labour candidate Jerry Gibson, beat James Cottis.
The Lib Dems lost Grange to UKIP, which is really disappointing for us after having a good candidate in Chris Stanley to follow Chris Lumley. However at least Chris Black was a comfortable winner in Downhall and Rawreth.
Michael Hoy comfortably held Hullbridge for the Greens and John Mason did the same for the Rochford Residents Party in Hawkwell West.
The Conservatives lost 3 seats but had comfortable wins in Hawkwell South (Heather Glynn) and Hockley Central (Carol Weston). . They had narrower wins in Hawkwell North, Rayleigh Central, Wheatley and Whitehouse.
And now… off to bed after being up for 23 hours!