THE Leader of Wakefield‘s Conservative group has lost his seat to Labour in the 2014 local council elections.
Tory Geoff Walsh lost his Pontefract South seat after receiving 1,434 votes compared to Labour’s George Ayre, who was elected with 1,766 votes.
Terence Uttley of UKIP won 957 votes in the Pontefract South ward.
The Conservatives held one of the six seats they were defending losing three to labour and two to UKIP.
Mr Walsh, who had been a Pontefract South Councillor for eight years, said: “Pontefract South has always been a challenge.
“I was first elected with a majority of 42 and my majority in 2010 was just over 200.
“It was always going to a tough fight, the vote got split. A slice of people decided they were going to send some sort of message by voting UKIP.”
Wakefield Council remains in overall Labour control following the results.
Labour now has an overall majority of 54 of the 63 seats on Wakefield Council
UKIP now have two seats on Wakefield Council after recording their first ever poll wins in the district.
UKIP’s David Dews is the new Wrenthorpe and Outwood West councillor after receiving 1,542 votes.
And Nick Farmer of UKIP was elected as Ossett councillor after polling 1,429 votes.
Both the UKIP seats were won from the Conservatives.
Labour held 14 of the 15 seats the party was contesting and gained three from the Conservatives.
Labour’s Kevin Barker gained Wakefield Rural after receiving 1,707 votes, compared to Conservative candidate Madalena Mestre with 1,632.
And Labour’s Kevin Swift won Wakefield West from the Conservatives after polling 1,506, compared to Tory candidate Kully Sanghera’s 885 votes.
Independent candidate Wilf Benson polled 1,802 votes to gain South Elmsall and South Kirkby from Labour’s Laurie Harrison, who polled 1,471 votes.
The previous make-up of the council following the last elections in 2012 was Labour 52 and Conservative 11, with no other parties or independents represented.
This year’s election was for a third of seats across the Council – one in each of the 21 wards.
The overall turn out in Wakefield was 30.17 per cent, compared to 28.94 per cent in 2012.