This was a disappointing night for the Conservatives in North Devon, there's no getting away from it. But at this mid-term point in the electoral cycle, it was always going to be a very difficult election for us. We had a lot of seats to defend, because the last council elections were held on the same day as the 2015 general election. Also, some of our most experienced councillors have retired.
But despite all that, the LibDems have failed to take overall control of North Devon, unlike councils elsewhere. They lost a seat in South Molton, where we elected our first Conservative councillor for more than twenty years. And they also lost in their heartland of Barnstaple Central as well.
Of course this result has no bearing on the general election, whenever it happens. It's been hard to motivate the Conservative vote for these local elections, and independent candidates and ward boundaries skew the figures too.
I congratulate all the winning candidates, and commiserate with those hard-working councillors who have lost their seats. I look forward to working with the Council to continue to get the best for North Devon.