Thanet district election 2023: At the count

The count is taking place at Dreamland

Today (May 5) the ballots are being counted for the district and town and parish council elections for Thanet.

The count is taking place at Dreamland due to the usual venue, Margate Winter Gardens, being shut.

Prior to the election Thanet council consisted of:

  • 25 Conservative
  • 15 Labour
  • 7 Thanet Independents
  • 5 Green and Independents
  • 2 Independents
  • 2 vacant seats

Results for districts across Kent are coming in today. Medway Council was the only authority to hold the count overnight. Labour has taken control of that council for the first time since 2003.

The count as it happens

In Thanet Labour has gained seats in Northwood and Westbrook where former council leader Ash Ashbee was visibly upset at the result. Greens have also gained in St Peter’s with former council tree officer Kevin Pressland taking a seat for the party.

In Kingsgate Conservative Bob Bayford has lost the seat he held for 32 years with Independent Alan Munns taking the vote.

Alan Munns

Cllr Munns says he began to realise he may be elected after talking to people at the polling station yesterday.

He said he is now looking forward to taking on the role with ‘hot topics’ of traffic management during tourist season and beach management.

Results are coming in: (refresh to see new results)

Margate Central stays red with the re-election of Rob Yates and Helen Whitehead. Turn out  22.1%

Helen WhiteheadLabour Party50433%Elected
 Rob YatesLabour Party48132%Elected
 Alanna McGill-TaggGreen Party24516%Not elected
 Barry Scott MillenConservative Party Candidate15410%Not elected
 John FinneganIndependent1389%Not elected


Labour’s Rick Everitt and Pat Moore are elected. Turn out 19.2%

Election CandidatePartyVotes%Outcome
 Pat MooreLabour Party41432%Elected
 Rick EverittLabour Party39330%Elected
 Trevor ShonkConservative Party Candidate21416%Not elected
 Ben Thomas HarrisConservative Party Candidate19415%Not elected
 Phil ShottonGreen Party947%Not elected

St Peter’s brings a result of two Greens with Mike Garner and former council tree officer Kevin Pressland plus Conservative Paul Moore. Turn out 33.56%

St Peters Ward – results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%Outcome
 Mike GarnerGreen Party84917%Elected
 Paul MooreConservative Party Candidate66414%Elected
 Kevin Raymond PresslandGreen Party66414%Elected
 Roy DexterConservative Party Candidate61413%Not elected
 Ahsan AshfaqConservative Party Candidate59512%Not elected
 Jason Harvey EversLabour Party47010%Not elected
 David CooperLabour Party4409%Not elected
 Matthew ThomasLabour Party3818%Not elected
 Gail Anne BanksLiberal Democrats2154%Not elected

Northwood ward is all change with Labour’s Jim Driver, Will Scobie and Debra Owen-Hughes taking the seats, meaning Thanet Independents leader Stuart Piper loses his seat at council. Turn out 25%.

Northwood Ward – results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%Outcome
 Jim DriverLabour Party56316%Elected
 Will ScobieLabour Party55416%Elected
 Debra Owen-HughesLabour Party55316%Elected
 Keith Joseph Henry ClarkConservative Party Candidate3129%Not elected
 David Barrie SpicerConservative Party Candidate2828%Not elected
 Sandra Caroline SpicerConservative Party Candidate2788%Not elected
 Rev. Stuart PiperThanet Independents2708%Not elected
 Lynda PiperThanet Independents2648%Not elected
 Christina CollinsThanet Independents2307%Not elected
 Mike WhiteGreen Party1193%Not elected


Former council leader Ash Ashbee loses her seat as Labour’s John Edwards and Elysa D’Abbro take the votes. The  former council leader was just three votes behind Labour’s John Edwards.

Turn out 30.5%

Westbrook Ward – results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%Outcome
 Elyssa Chiarina D’AbbroLabour Party45124%Elected
 John Martin EdwardsLabour Party38520%Elected
 Ash AshbeeConservative Party Candidate38220%Not elected
 David ParsonsConservative Party Candidate28315%Not elected
 Ken WatkinsGreen Party1628%Not elected
 Mark BrayThanet Independents1608%Not elected
 Amelia RandallReform UK935%Not elected

Birchington North

The Birchington North seats are resoundingly Conservative with George Kup and Reece Pugh taking the poll with 908 and 873 votes respectively. Turn out was 43%.

Birchington North Ward – results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%Outcome
 George KupConservative Party Candidate90826%Elected
 Reece PughConservative Party Candidate87325%Elected
 David HartThanet Independents38411%Not elected
 Simon Nicholas DayThanet Independents38211%Not elected
 Colin Joseph BrownLabour Party37911%Not elected
 Lucy WilliamsGreen Party3289%Not elected
 Mario PortelliLabour Party2627%Not elected


The seat for Kingsgate is taken by Independent candidate Alan Munns with 366 votes. Former councillor Bob Bayford (Con) who has held the seat for more than 30 years polled 241 while Labour’s Howard Green took 128 votes. Turn out 42%.

Kingsgate Ward – results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%Outcome
 Alan MunnsIndependent36650%Elected
 Robert William BayfordConservative Party Candidate24133%Not elected
 Howard Leonard GreenLabour Party12817%Not elected

Thanet Villages

Conservatives Sam Bambridge, with  733 votes, and Abi-Leigh Barlow, 672 votes, and Green’s Abi Smith, 658 votes, take the seats. Turn out was 27%.

Central Harbour

All three councillors for Central Harbour retain their seats with Raushan Ara (Labour) polling 1157 votes, Tricia Austin (Green) on 852 and Becky Wing (Green) 937 votes. Turn out was 31%.

Birchington South

Birchington South stays blue with Emma Dawson, 699 votes, Phil Fellows,814 votes and Linda Wright on 726 votes taking the seats. Turn out was 31%


Thanet Independent Bertie Braidwood retains his seat, polling 789 votes. David Donaldson (Labour) takes a seat with 525 votes and Conservative Matthew Scott retains his seat with 576 votes.


Thanet Independent group has taken both seats in Garlinge ward with John Dennis receiving 509 votes and John Worrow polling 581. Turn out was 29%

Beacon Road

Labour take the seats in Beacon Road ward with Joanne Bright polling 620 votes and Jenny Matterface 694 votes. Turn out was 34%

Dane Valley

Labour take all three seats with newcomer Jack Packman polling 719 votes, Martin Boyd on 709 and Ruth Duckworth on 754. Turn out was 24%.


Nethercourt is a Labour hold with David Green taking 547 votes and Anne-Marie Nixey polling 574 votes. Turn out was 32%.


Independent councillor Ruth Bailey has lost her seat. The seats have gone to Kristian Bright (Labour) 786 votes, Roopa Farooki  (Labour) 863 votes and John  Nicols (Con)  786 votes. Turn out was 39%


Labour takes both seats at Salmestone ward with Leo Britcher on 470 votes and Katie Pope on 491 votes. Turn out was 23%


Labour retains Eastcliff with Steve Albon, 741 votes, Corinna Huxley, 775 votes, and Helen Crittenden, 811 votes, taking the seats. Turn out was 25%

Cliftonville East

Conservatives retain Cliftonville East with newcomer Banny Manners -best known for beach clean volunteering – on 985  votes, Marc Rattigan taking 912 and Cedric Towning on 852. Turn out was 35%

Sir Moses Montefiore

Labour retain their seats with Pat Makinson taking 452 votes and Tony Ovenden polling 449 votes. Turn out was 31%


Jill Bayford and George Rusiecki, both Conservative, take  524 votes and 525 votes respectively. Turn out was 40%

Cliftonville West

Labour retain the ward with Alan Currie, Heather Keen and Harry Scobie taking the votes. This means Labour also takes overall control of Thanet council for the first time since 2003 with 30 seats and just one ward left to declare

Cliffsend and Pegwell

Brenda Rogers and John Davis, Conservative, take the seats for Cliffsend and Pegwell with 571 and 516 votes respectively.

This means the make up of Thanet council is now Labour 30 seats, Conservative 17, Green 5, Thanet Independents 3, Independent 1.

Labour takes overall control of Thanet council in election success

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  1. All tied to the same brush and all in it for themselves and their own prestige – Not one will do better than the other – Should just pull the names out of a hat and save all the time and money.

    • ….democracy, it’s so expensive, Cuba wouldn’t waste money on such rubbish. Democracy… studies have shown that this horrible force
      Is so dangerous to society at large that laws
      Are being drawn up at this very moment to stop it forever!
      Cruel and inhuman punishments are being carefully described
      In tiny paragraphs so they won’t conflict with the Constitution
      (Which, itself, is being modified in order to accommodate the future)

      • Chinese, Cubans, etc. are also more destitute than us. Of course RELATIVE freedom and people holding power RELATIVELY closer to equally is RELATIVELY expensive. Of course what’s better costs more. What’s the downside exactly?

      • I will endeavour to avoid any spellings mistakes, unlike a number of fellow posters!
        Great day that saw the demise of Bayford, Ashbee, Piper, Shonk et al. The horror show that was UKIP, the TICs,Tory world and the mythical international airport cult have all disappeared like snowflakes in a blast furnace.

  2. Hopefully, the Tories will get the drubbing they deserve!

    Apparently, Labour has conducted a poisonous campaign continuing their inclination for divisive politics, rather than cooperating for the common good.

    They fielded a candidate in Kingsgate despite knowing they had no chance of winning there, making it more difficult for residents to get rid of lazy Tory Bob Bayford.

    Hopefully, more Green candidates will be elected. They seem to be the only ones with integrity, together with community-minded Independents such as Aram Rawf (Beacon) and Alan Munns (Kingsgate).

  3. Why does it take so much longer for our election results to be declared compared to other parts of the country? We’re always last!

    • Utter tripe.
      Neither TDC nor its councillors can have any effect on the outcome of the DCO.
      However, if Thanet’s aviation enthusiasts had used Manston often enough, it would never have closed in the first place.

      • Labour will now use everything in their power at the Thanet tax payers expence to torpeado Manston.
        I would be very surprised if were still to go through now.

    • …the economy has always been the force that puts the International Airport in jeopardy. Not an opinion, just one of those inconvenient facts.

    • Maybe they were tactically voting to rid us of the Councillors who keep saying that everyone supports Manston and we will see that in the results of the election!

  4. Er, probably exactly one of their reasons for voting Labour. Don’t believe all that rubbish about ‘most residents supporting Manston’.

    • I’m afraid most residents are for the airport reopening, the people against are a tiny minority… really tiny.

      • And most residents couldn’t care less but came out to vote those councillors who support Manston reopening out.
        Your claim Peter doesn’t carry any weight in it at all.

      • Peter, If you make claims like that you really need to be able to back them up with some hard evidence otherwise you look really, really tiny.

      • You have solid,irrefutable proof of that because on the doorstep out canvassing in Beacon Road Ward,not Beacon as is mentioned in another post, it was hardly mentioned. All those pro-Manston supporters in Beacon Road Ward voted in two Labour councillors who took 63% of the vote!

        • I guess you just have to do your best to represent your residents interests.
          You are a wise and very fair lady with integrity so I am sure you do what is best.

  5. Democracy in action kicking out the pro-airport councillors. Pipers gone, Ashby gone, Greens growing. Face up to it SMAs, the majority don’t want an airport

      • It seems that the Tories’ reliance on Manston as a major election issue was misplaced.

        • Absolutely! Bayford & Shonk both tried to mislead residents into thinking they could save Manston if elected.

          It’s beneficial for Thanet to be rid of these two inflated egos. Ditto the poisonous so-called ‘Reverend’ Piper and his Stepford clone wife!

    • Wrong!! The vast majority of local people DO want a regenerated prosperous Manston Cargo Airport, with state of the art services and eventually a passenger Airport!! Think of all the new, quality jobs created for now and the future.

      • I think the democratic vote has just proved otherwise (and it was the Tories and TICs who made the vote about the cargo hub)

      • Er highly automated airport = a lot of low paid jobs – how else they gonna prise work from existing operations- IF they come here at all! Just think about it logically

    • Actually the towns were here long. Long before the airstrip at manston, which became the hated (because of the noise) ww2/us airforce base, and then failed (3 times) local airport.

    • What airport? It was never an airport as such. It was abandoned by the RAF in 1999 and the commercial side was always at a great loss so permanently closed in 2014. Houses are being built all around the site because the SMA’s and ancient MP for Manston wouldn’t see sense and except the plans for a mixed use with jobs and homes and green on it. We will end up with even more houses built there, but without the jobs and green promised because of Gale and his group of chums.

  6. Disappointing day for democracy ,look at the low turnout to vote . People don’t give a toss ,the majority have lost faith in all parties.

  7. I hope all the Labour voters enjoy the rubbish piled up in the street, increase in crime, yobs on e-scooters, public drug use, no toilets for the elderly, more empty shops

  8. Shame on any biological woman that voted for the Labour Party. Like a Turkey voting for Christmas.

    • I think if this election has shown anything, it’s the Tories strategy of promoting culture wars and “war on woke” has failed. You and your fellow TERFs are just an annoying sideshow.

    • If you want to be a TERF, go ahead, but please stop insisting all other CIS women have to stand with you. We don’t.

      • “CIS Women” is a made up phrase invented by men that like to use female toilets.

        • You’re incorrect. It might be a relative neologism but isn’t more made up than any word. As to its origin, you are also wrong but I won’t go into the etymology as I suspect you’re not really interested. You’re just here to try to score cheap points.

    • The Local Plan, which dictates how many and where Thanet’s new houses will be built, was cobbled together by the unholy alliance of UKIP/Tory some years ago.
      It’s rather good to see that just about every one of the ex-UKIP/TIG councillors has lost his or her seat.

      • Don’t forget the ex-Tories that became Thanet Independents as well Andrew.

        TDC needs to edit the Local Plan next like they have been doing in other local authority areas that were similarly under pressure to increase house building (Build are way out of recession with Build, Build, Build, – Boris Johnson 2020 ideology). A good cut in the Government homes statistics mean a lot less can be built over the period within the Plan.
        It needs changing here now.

  9. So much for the pro Manston vocal minority. Dropping like flies.

    Whilst not relevant now it is DCO criteria, it is clear that the majority do not want a Council champing at the bit for cargo planes over our harbour every 15 minutes.

    If there is a Labour administration let’s just hope they are less studiously neutral on the subject than last time.

    Build the houses on Manston. The defunct airport the market and the environment doesn’t need. It is the largest brownfield site in Kent.

  10. Birchington north not paying attention as usual.

    Imagine voting blue after the last 2 years hahahaha.

    Some people.

    • Haha, just as I was thinking.
      It does seem though that there is real apathy to just stick with what you have in the areas with high percentage elderly living in. It’s normal not do anything until it’s too late. But, if you want any change you need to get your votes in as they all count.
      There will be no sympathy left when all those homes are built in the Village as it’s now too late to do anything. You have kept the Councillors pushing for all those houses.

  11. The turnout for Margate central and Newington woeful perhaps even lower than last year. Some interesting results so far though , notably the departure of a few old right wing Dinosaurs.
    Change in the political landscape is pitifully slow in this backwater. But change nevertheless ,More greens can only be a good thing.
    Ironically the governing leaders of all the main political parties in recent years have been beheaded, Ashlbee has continued this trend.
    Perhaps the lesson is leaders should listen more to their constituents and party members.

  12. Looks like the end of the road for Manston Airport. With the planned housing now unopposed it looks like Thanet will become a low wage High Unemployment dumping ground for Londons overspill.

    • What an absurd as well as inaccurate comment. Supporting a cargo hub will not stop housing. When will this falsehood end?

      And what is wrong with anyone from London? This kind of thinking is bit embarrassing don’t you think?

      • Emmeline, it is always the same argument from the nostalgics:
        – The DFLs are down and outs but at the same time they have money to buy houses and 2 cars and they are making things too unaffordable
        – There are no jobs in Thanet but there are jobs but DFLs come to live in Ramsgate but they work in London
        – Thanet is low wage high unemployment but average salaries same as any other region not London but we dont want to be a tourist area but tourism has grown exponentially in the last decade
        – We need jobs for the youth but lets not ask the youth if they want jobs in a cargo airfield

        I have seen submarines with thinner hatches…

    • Peter gets the award for laziest cliches in one sentence. I can see you used the BSc (Hons) well!

    • You have to admire the Mastodon supporters:
      – When they have to sign petitions organised by ‘their’ MP, they can’t be bothered…
      – When they have to cough up money, they don’t have it (RSP has still not paid legal fees…)…
      – When they have to vote as told by ‘their’ MP, they can’t be bothered…

      So the next timeline of events:
      – July 2023: Judicial Review will reject Mastodon air cargo proposal
      – Autumn 2024 election: RSP’s MP, Roger ‘I dont want an airport polluting my grandchild’s lungs but dont care about Ramsgate’s children’ Gale will be out of his job
      – Autumn 2024 election: RSP’s MP, Craig ‘I own an airline which would operate from the air cargo strip I have been supporting for years, but it is not because I would gain personally from it’ MacKinlay will be out of his job
      – Summer 2027: Lots of DFLs move to Ramsgate, as they have been doing for the last few years, and they bring their electric cars with them. Peter Evans BSc (Hons) 2:2 cannot cope with the idea.

    • It always has been – just now more discovered / and or relocated here by their council .
      A former UKIP , Conservative Councillor who has done little to enrich things apart from personal educational enrichment , oh and originally from London and moved down .

  13. What is the turnout vs the previous local elections. Much the same I think, bout would be good to know

  14. All you anti Manston people should realize that if it’s built on it will produce at least another 36000 cars

    • Oh dear, deary, deary, deary me!
      We get the houses (plus their 36000 cars) with or without the airport.
      With the airport = houses all built on the green fields of Bichington;
      Without the airport = some of those houses built on the huge brownfield ex-aerodrome.

    • We need facts Fred not your fiction. What we don’t need are thousands of fuel tankers and goods lorries. How about a solar ark and windfarm, with factored producing the cpppmemts. Thousands of well paid sustainable jobs, rather than a noisy, smelly, automated cargo hub with a few zero hours jobs?

      • Aram, I did try to warn you, the echo chamber is not a healthy place to discuss local and national politics.

      • This is a malevolent and misleading thing to post.
        The article has no examples (evidence) of jewdophobic statements. It seems to me that political parties have a real problem around Israel and its actions against occupied territories and its own citizens. Its foreign actions are another story!
        Referring people to this article begs the question, did you read it? If so why did you cite it given all it does is ask the green party about its policy on “antisemetism” (jewdophbia more accurately).
        Another question is why you think the ex-labour members who’ve joined the greens are jewdophobic? Aside from the hysterical accusations of the media, self-appointed and, so called, representatives of British jews and labour leadership what evidence do you have?

        • Garry Saunders – well said. The article is cautionary and does not accuse The Green Party of being anti anything or anyone.

  15. Green Councillor for Central Harbour, Cllr Wing, asked the (then) CEO of Southern Water about forever chemicals in the ground at the Manston site. No clear reply was given – or not one that I understood, anyway. We need to know what chemicals are lurking under the Manston site before it is developed.

      • Andrew – I’ve just looked again but can’t get a clear answer. I’m happy for any one with more information to put me right on this !

  16. Britain is a conservative country. Only 3 Labour leaders have won a general election since 1900. We’ve been here before. Labour do well at local elections but are untrustworthy to govern. They will probably win the next election but only because they have Tory in disguise Sir Keir Starmer as leader. He’s as untrustworthy and duplicitous as they come.

  17. Don’t the people of Birchington and the villages see the news.
    Are their lives unaffected by costs of living. Do they use the QEQM or are they all private patients ?

    The Conservatives have decimated the economy with their corruption, party donors receiving large govt contracts, inflation over 10%, Brexit promises were all lies. It’s unfortunate local councillors take the blame for Bodger Johnson and Rishi Prada shoe man but it was the only opportunity the masses had to send them a message.

  18. Congratulations to Alan Munns! You have done Kingsgate a big favour! Good riddance to complacent Tory Bob Bayford!

    • Considering Alan was outside the polling station with his family for many hours, greeting voters speaks volumes when Bayford, who can see the polling station from his garden, couldn’t be bothered to show his face – but I guess that is what 32 years of doing nothing does! Congratulations Alan Munns – we, personally, are excited to see what you can achieve!





  20. Cliftonville East don’t seem to be affected by double mortgage payments and high taxes.

  21. Surprised the Conservatives held Cliftonville East. Thought the Greens might have nicked it.

  22. Cliftonville East and Bradstowe don’t seem to be affected by the doubling of mortgage payments and taxes ?

  23. Shame Rob Yates has been re-elected, this guy wants to stop tourism in a tourist destination. He needs to go.

  24. It would have been even more impressive had Labour agreed a progressive alliance for Thanet.
    Instead they challenged in wards they had no hope of winning which led to the Tory’s retaining more Cllr’s that they would have done.
    I really hope Labour’s success doesn’t see them revert to block voting arrogance. It’s their opportunity to start real cooperation around the very serious issues facing Thanet and its Council.

  25. The fact is the public have spoken and rejected the Conservatives and their plans for Manston.
    They will probably now get what they voted for in the guise of a high density housing estate who’s houses will be snapped up by London Councils who want to unload their ‘uneconomic’ tenants. Could be a Thanet version of Thamesmead….

    • Hang on, Peter, have you made up your mind about the DFL you think we’ll get? Is it:
      – The ‘uneconomic’ tenants, OR
      – The ones snapping up the houses, pushing prices up, with 2 cars per home?

      I dont know, but maybe you shouldnt have voted for Suella.

  26. Excellent results! Great to see that Bayford, Shonk, Piper and his wife were all given the boot! There is rejoicing throughout Kingsgate at the demise of Tory Bob Bayford! Alan Munns has become our local hero!

    An increase in Green councillors and a community-minded Independent (Alan Munns) on TDC will be a force for good.

    Residents in Birchington North and South, Cliftonville East and Bradstow seem to be living on another planet. They must be Daily Mail readers fooled by propaganda and out of touch with reality.

    • It’s the people of places like Birchington and Bradstow that supply food for your food banks! Don’t knock the better off.

  27. Is this Democracy? Do the maths … voting turnout varied from between 19% and 45% …. That means AT BEST a party need only secure 23% of the vote! So we all kneel to the wishes of a minority no matter what political party! No one can stand up and say that the majority of Thanet people want this – or that …. Unless the poll a greater percentage of the public!

  28. Wow—surely this is ironic. The words untrustworthy and duplicitous just about sum up the current Tory rabble in Westminster

  29. All those that think these local elections will affect the re-opening of Manston Airport is nonsense – the first judicial review failed as will the second – If the Government think it’s needed then it will go ahead regardless, just like HS1 & HS2.

  30. “Just like HS2”? Destroying and polluting swathes of countryside,demolishing parts of London unnecessarily, way behind schedule and way over the original cost estimate?

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