As Owl feared “Dick Barton” proved a winning strategy.

For the moment the electorate appears to be content to credit the Tories with successfully delivering a vaccination programme and the promise of economic recovery. Despite the mess over Brexit fishing rights. How long will this last?

Today’s Western Morning News summarises the results in the Peninsular as follows:   

…Labour losing control of Plymouth City Council, and Cornwall switching to the Tories in time for the G7 summit; plus, Devon County Council remains under Tory control, albeit with a slightly reduced majority…

Note: two divisions in East Devon – Exmouth and Broadclyst – where two councillors are elected in each, won’t begin counting until this morning, so a final result and composition of Devon County Council  won’t be known until later today.

However, the East Devon Alliance (EDA) suffered a bitter blow as Martin Shaw failed to retain Seaton & Colyton by a wafer thin margin.

EDA candidates also failed to take Axminster and Sidmouth, but again only by small margins:

Axminster: Paul Hayward (EDA) lost to Ian Hall (Con) by 1,439 to 1,672

Seaton & Colyton: Martin Shaw (EDA) lost to Marcus Hartnell (Con) 2,176 to 2,321

Sidmouth: Louise Mac Allister (EDA) lost to Stuart Hughes (Con) 2,431 to 2,601

(Other candidates received few votes – full results here www.devonlive.com)

The positive message to take from this is that, where EDA fields a candidate it is in a very strong position to win.

Jess Bailey (Ind) held Otter Valley, the division vacated by Claire Wright by 3,224 votes to 1,281 for Charlie Hobson (Con)..

Exeter City 

Bucking the trend Labour have retained control of Exeter City Council – and with an increased majority. www.devonlive.com 

Cornwall

The election for Cornwall Council is different this year after boundary changes by the Government cut the number of councillors from 123 to 87. Owl’s skimming over the results show some divisions being decided with candidates winning having only received 700/800 votes. Something wrong with democracy here.

(Owl has yet to digest the overall turnout figures, but some of the divisions are becoming so large as to make it very difficult for those not backed by a national party to contest. This even more apparent in the farcical Police Crime Commissioner elections. A correspondent asked Owl why all PCC candidates came from national parties!).