A candidate not representing the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats or Labour holds a seat in the council for the first time ever in Kingston, as the Lib Dems increased their majority in the borough.
James Giles, representative of the Kingston Independent Residents Group – Malden Matters, took the seat from Liberal Democrat Simon Edwards in the Green Lane and St James Ward.
The news was announced after a recount in the borough revealed that Giles had won by just eight votes.
Earlier in the day, Giles commented on the public opinion towards the Kingston Independent Residents Group.
He said: “People want change.
“New Malden is fed up with the mess the Liberal Democrats have made in our town for 16 of the last 20 years.”
Giles criticised Liberal Democrat Party Leader, Sir Ed Davey, saying he was: “spending more time in places like North Shropshire rather than Kingston where is elected MP”.
However, Giles’ opinion was not reflected in the borough as a whole, as the Lib Dems continued an excellent set of local election results in south west London.
The results revealed a landslide Liberal Democrats majority with the party winning 41 out of 45 Kingston Council seats which have been elected so far, having acheived only 37 total in 2018.
Council leader Andreas Kirsch said in his final speech: “It is an amazing result which has given us again the confidence to work hard for all of our residents in Kingston, in all neighbourhoods and wards, to make our borough as wonderful as it gets.”
Cllr. Kirsch pledged that the Lib Dems aim to make Kingston a greener, safer and fairer borough.
The Conservatives were knocked back in Kingston after winning three seats in comparison to nine at the previous 2018 local elections.
Councillor Roy Arora who represented the Coombe Vale Ward was the first Conservative to lose his seat in the Kingston Council.
This was followed by Kevin Davis, leader of the Conservative Party in Kingston, alongside Jason Hughes, both of whom represented the Old Malden Ward which now enjoys a comfortable Lib Dem majority.
In reaction to this loss Davis said: “We have had a battle across London.
“A ‘remain’ place like Kingston was always going to be tricky for us.
“I’ve lost elections before by six votes and that hurt but by 200 it doesn’t hurt so much because it’s decisive and you have to accept it.”
Earlier in the day, Davis claimed he did not think partygate was the reason why votes were lost.
He said: “The people that were angry were the people who didn’t vote for us anyway, so it wasn’t anything that was going to change our votes.”
Former council leader Liz Green, who retained her seat as a Liberal Democrat in the St. Mark’s & Seething Wells Ward, said that the Kingston Liberal Democrats will continue to work on what she labelled “the unfair funding formula from central government”.
Green added: “National politics have always played into local elections and the Conservatives have lost because Boris Johnson is an embarrassment to the country.”
The Green Party were particularly popular in the St. Mark and Seething Wells Ward, where they gained 29% of the votes and were second only to the Liberal Democrats.
Green said: “The Green Party decided to challenge us, we weren’t the ones to challenge.”
The elections in New Malden Village Ward could not take place on 5 May due to the death of a candidate, therefore the results could not be counted for this ward alongside the rest of the borough.
Due to this, only 45 councillors out of 48 have been elected to Kingston Council following Friday’s results.