VOTERS in the Tring and villages division turned out in significantly higher numbers than elsewhere for the County and European elections in June. The local turnout was 49% compared with an overall 39% for Hertfordshire and 38% for the East of England Euro constituency. A close contest between Liberal Democrat and Conservative candidates was expected for the single County Council seat to represent Tring and the villages. At the ballot box Nick Hollinghurst comfortably retained the seat for the Liberal Democrats with a majority of 885. Conservatives and Labour candidates lost votes to the Lib Dems, with Mr Hollinghurst securing an overall majority with 52% of the vote, an increase of 10% on the 2005 result.

The result in full was:

  • Nick Hollinghurst, Lib Dem: 3090 (52.4%, up 10.3%)
  • Olive Conway, Conservative: 2205 (37.4%, down 4.2%)
  • Rosalind Paul, Green: 404 (6.9%, up 1.2%)
  • Tony Shaw, Labour: 170 (2.9%, down 7.3%)

(Figures from Hertfordshire County Council.)

Labour lost all its County Council seats from the borough of Dacorum, including that of the Labour leader Iain Laidlaw- Dickson who lost Hemel North West after 16 years as a councillor. Conservatives now have 55 of the 77 County Council seats, Lib Dems 17 seats, Labour only 3 seats and Greens 1 seat. In the South Oxhey division, 29% of the vote gave the BNP a majority of 27 votes over Labour, returning the first ever BNP county councillor in Herts. The turnout was just 30% in this division, where the Labour vote dropped by 18%.

The monster ballot paper for the seven East of England seats in the European Parliament gave local voters an unprecedented choice of 14 places in which to mark their single vote. Operating under proportional epresentation with an electorate of 4.2 million, losses and gains were modest and there was no change in the result. Conservatives won 3 seats, UKIP 2 seats, Lib Dems 1 seat, and Labour in fourth place also with 1 seat. Your elected MEPs are: Geoffrey Van Orden (C), Robert Sturdy (C), Vicky Ford (C), David Campbell Bannerman (UKIP), John Agnew (UKIP), Andrew Duff (LD), Richard Howitt (Lab).