Conservatives take control of Cornwall Council in dominant local election performance

Elliott Stallion/Unsplash
Elliott Stallion/Unsplash

The Conservative Party will take control of Cornwall Council, forming a majority administration for the first time since the Council was formed in 2009. The new administration will replace the Independent-Liberal Democrat coalition that has governed since 2017.

Winning 37% of the vote, the Conservatives took 47 of the 87 seats under the new boundaries that had lowered the total number from 123. Linda Taylor, the Conservative Group Leader said: “We will start to deliver on our plan. Tomorrow is the start of a new, big adventure for Cornwall.” Cornwall Conservatives also control the Duchy’s six parliamentary seats.

Cornwall’s large contingent of Independent Councillors was cut to 15. This included victories for the Council Leader Julian German and Deputy Leader Adam Paynter. In total, Independents won 17% of the vote.

Cornwall’s historically dominant Liberal Democrats were reduced to 14 seats. Hurt by a rising Green vote share which split the progressive vote, this will be the first time that Cornwall has neither a Liberal MP or a large contingent on Councils for decades. Former St Ives MP Andrew George won his race in Ludgvan, Madron, Gulval & Heamoor, while former North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson lost his Launceton South race by only three votes.

Labour won five total seats, including two in Falmouth. Laurie Magowen came from third place to defeat long-term Conservative Geoffrey Evans in Falmouth Arwenack, while Independent David Saunby narrowly defeated Labour in a recount for Falmouth Trescobeas & Budock. Cornish nationalist party Meybon Kernow also won five seats, gaining one.

Running a full slate of candidates, the Green Party achieved 9% of the total vote and the party’s highest vote share in Cornwall. Tasmyn Widdon picked up their sole seat in Penryn. She defeated former 2019 Labour Parliamentary Candidate Jennifer Forbes and former Mayor of Penryn Mary May.

The newly elected Cornwall Councillors will be seated in the coming days for a four-year term. Parish, City and Town Council results will be announced on Saturday, 8 April, alongside the Police and Crime Commissioner race.