DAVID HOLMES, ROISIN GAD EL RAB and DAVID NORBURY report as city MP and county council leader emerge from the election battle with their majorities intact - but only just

ELECTION Thursday brought shocks at national and local level.

Chester MP Christine Russell returned to Westminster with the backing of only one in four of the city's electorate.

County Hall Tory leader Paul Findlow found himself facing the political reality of an overall majority of just one.

And high-profile county councillor David Robinson (Lab) was ousted from his Overleigh seat by the Conservatives.

In the General Election, Tory candidate Paul Offer, a former naval officer, had the wind in his sails as he brought Mrs Russell's majority crashing from 10,553 in 1997 to just 915.

Mrs Russell polled 17,458 votes compared with 21,760 in 2001 and a massive 29,806 in 1997.

In her victory speech, Mrs Russell said: 'I think the Labour Party, both here in Chester and nationally, has run a positive campaign.

'We have to tried to highlight our achievements and we have set out for the people of Chester and the people of Britain how we will continue running a stable, prosperous economy and investing in our public services.'

Ms Russell said afterwards the collapse in her popularity was due to haemorrhaging votes to the anti-war Liberal Democrats.

But Mr Offer increased the Tory vote from four years ago, with prominent Tories believing the seat will be within their grasp at the next election.

He said: 'I would like to say that if the people of Chester thought this Labour government's record was excellent then two elections would not have turned one of the safest seats into one of the most marginal seats in the country.'

Liberal Democrat candidate Cllr Mia Jones, the city council cabinet member for health and wellbeing, found even the election-winning skills of her father in law Sir Trevor Jones, renowned for conjuring up Liberal victories, could not find her the huge increase in support she would have needed. But Cllr Jones increased the Lib Dem turnout by half.

Addressing her opponents, she said: 'Next time, we'll make it even tougher for them!'

On the County Hall scene, the Tories found their overall majority of five, which swept them to power in 2001 for the first time in 20 years, slashed to just

one. The new state of the parties at County Hall is: Conservatives 26; Labour 16; Liberal Democrat 8, Independent 1.

The biggest shock came in Chester Overleigh where veteran Cllr Robinson, vice-chairman of the North West Regional Assembly, was defeated by city councillor Stephen Mosley.

General election results

ALYN & DEESIDE (Labour hold)

Mark Tami (Labour) 17,331 Lynne Hale (Conservative) 8,953 Paul Brighton (Liberal Democrat) 6,174

Richard Coombs (Plaid Cymru) 1,320

Billy Crawford (UK Independence Party) 918 Klaus Armstrong-Braun (Forward Wales) 378 Judith Kilshaw (Independent) 215 Glyn Davies (Communist Party of Britain) 207 Majority 8,378 Turnout 35,496 (60.2%)

CITY OF CHESTER (Labour hold)

Christine Russell (Labour) 17,458 Paul Offer (Conservative) 16,543 Mia Jones (Liberal Democrat) 9,818

Allan Weddell (UK Independence Party) 776 Ed Abrams (English Democrats) 308

Majority 915 Turnout 44,903 (64.3%)

CREWE & NANTWICH (Labour hold) Gwyneth Dunwoody (Labour) 21,240

Eveleigh Moore-Dutton (Conservative) 14,162 Paul Roberts (Liberal Democrat) 8,083

Majority 7,078 Turnout 43,485 (60.0%)

EDDISBURY (Conservative hold)

Stephen O'Brien (Conservative) 21,181

Mark Green (Labour) 14,986 Jo Crotty (Liberal Democrat) 8,182 Stephen Roxborough (UK Independence Party) 1,325 Majority 6,195 Turnout 45,674 (63.2%)

ELLESMERE PORT & NESTON (Labour hold) Andrew Miller (Labour) 20,371 Myles Hogg (Conservative) 13,885

Steve Cook (Liberal Democrat) 6,607

Henry Crocker (UK Independence Party) 1,206 Majority 6,486 Turnout 42,069 (61.6%)

WEAVER VALE (Labour hold)

Mike Hall (Labour) 18,759 Jonathan Mackie (Conservative) 11,904

Nigel Griffiths (Liberal Democrat) 7,723

Brenda Swinscoe (UK Independence Party) 1,034 Majority 6,855 Turnout 39,420 (57.1%)

County election results

ABBEY (Conservative Hold)

Shirley Ann Harris Conservative 3171 Arthur Robert Wood Lib Dem 1795 Derek Harold Wright Labour 1453 Howard Geoffrey Thorp Green 381

ALDERLEY (Conservative Hold)

Marc Nigel Asquith Conservative 4190 Colin Shepherd Lib Dem 1908 Mark Anthony Norman Green 838

ALSAGER (Lib Dem Hold)

Roderick Ian Fletcher Lib Dem 3387 Warwick William Corbett Till Conservative 1669

Ian Gregory Labour 1050


Sylvia Elizabeth Roberts Lib Dem 3000 Harold Davenport Conservative 2681 Catherine Vivien Birchall Labour 1357 Brendan Murphy Independent 619 Brian John Anthony Doherty Green 430

BROXTON (Conservative Hold)

Eveleigh Hilda Moore Dutton Conservative 3577

Vera Sandra Roberts Lib Dem 2038 Steven Clifford Duffus Labour 997

BUCKLOW (Conservative Hold)

Stephen Roger Wilkinson Conservative 3907

Heulwen Ann Barlow Lib Dem 1017 Brian Daulby Labour 837 Theresa Loraine Curtis Green 343 Andrew Wright Independent 276


Brendan Patrick Doyle Labour 3241 Michael Poole Conservative 951 Sandra Victoria Clyne Lib Dem 743

CHESTER: BOUGHTON HEATH AND VICARS CROSS (Lib Dem Hold) Susan Ross Proctor Lib dem 3262 Peter Vawdrey Moore Dutton Conservative 2686 Ann Patricia Treloar Labour 1493 Alan J Weddell UKIP 145 Robert Edward Abrams English Democrats 101

CHESTER: CITY (Labour Hold)

Peter Charles Byrne Labour 2212

David Geoffrey Mead Lib Dem 1719 Valarie Fay Mustill Conservative 1534 Roger Philip Croston UKIP 135


Molly Hale Lib Dem 2709 Elizabeth Jane Mercer Labour 1889 John Brian Ebo Conservative 1575

CHESTER: OVERLEIGH (CONSERVATIVE GAIN) Stephen James Mosley Conservative 3279

David Eric Robinson Labour 3111 Philip John Taylor Lib Dem 1193 David Anthony Scott UKIP 168


Colin Curtis Bain Lib Dem 2707 Jill Houlbrook Conservative 2211 Nicholas John Dixon Labour 1878

CHOLMONDELEY (Conservative Hold)

Allan Richardson Conservative 4761 Richard William Fox Lib Dem 2699

CONGLETON RURAL (Conservative Hold)

Kenneth Oliver Conservative 3783 Ernest Raymond Lowe Lib Dem 2725 Robert Boston Labour 745

CONGLETON TOWN EAST (Conservative Hold)

Peter Herbert Mason Conservative 3098 Hilary Smith Labour 1772 Denis Murphy Lib Dem 1282 Elaine Margaret Kiff Green 423

CONGLETON TOWN WEST (Conservative Hold) William Wolstencroft Conservative 2737 Stanley Snowdon Labour 1906 Simon Peter Arthur Davey Lib Dem 1530 Clare Newbould Green 510

CREWE EAST (Labour Hold)

John Gordon Alexander Fyffe Labour 3240

Gwyn Griffiths Lib Dem 1486 Frederick James Fox Conservative 1169 Ralph Ellis BNP 299

CREWE NORTH (Labour Hold)

Peter Nurse Labour 2958 Paul James Morrey Conservative 1139 Byron Evans Independent 927 John Lee Cornes BNP 375


Dorothy Flude Labour 2673 David John Cannon Lib Dem 2075 Keith Healey Conservative 876 Mike Beardshaw BNP 291

CREWE WEST (Labour Hold)

David John Newton Labour 2678 Brian George Silvester Conservative 1479

John Martin Philips Lib Dem 846

DODDINGTON (Conservative Hold)

David Brickhill Conservative 4259 Teresa Maureen Eatough Independent 3159

EDDISBURY (Conservative Hold)

Andrew Needham Conservative 3324 Valerie Godfrey Lib Dem 2287 Virginia Gwynneth Geraerts Labour 1112

ELLESMERE PORT: CENTRAL AND WESTMINSTER (Labour Hold) Derek Bateman Labour 3340 Maurice Frederick Brookes Lib Dem 861 Gordon Douglas Grant Meldrum Conservative 646 Ian Alan Omerod Independent 252 David Paul Joines BNP 183

ELLESMERE PORT: GRANGE AND ROSSMORE (Labour Hold) Laurence Toale Labour 3467 Thomas Edward Hughes Conservative 1176

Sally Ann Martin Lib Dem 1056 David Charles Southgate BNP 200


Brian Jones Labour 3290 Jonathan Charles Starkey Conservative 2139

Hilary Ann Chrusciezl Lib Dem 1251 Graham Scott Independent 375


Patricia Anne Merrick Labour 3141 Nicholas Hebson Conservative 1674 John Douglas Scott Falconer Lib Dem 934

Gary Woodward Independent 534

FRODSHAM & HELSBY (Conservative Hold) Gretta Ann Cousins Conservative 2832 John Christopher Beech Labour 2440 Trevor Nigel Griffiths Lib Dem 1958

GOWY (Conservative Hold)

John Edward Burke Conservative 3936 Andrew John Garman Lib Dem 2666 Stephen McArdle Davies Labour 1555

KNUTSFORD (Conservative Hold)

Herbert Grange Conservative 3229 Barbara Susan Austin Lib Dem 2127 Laurie Stuart Burton Labour 1478

LEDSHAM AND WILLASTON (Conservative Hold) Geraldine Lynn Hardwick Conservative 3245

Tamara Gerlinde Adina Hill Labour 1924 Graham Handley Lib Dem 1179


David William Freear Conservative 2065 William John Ainsley Arnold Lib Dem 1921

Margaret Readman Labour 1322

MACCLESFIELD FOREST (Conservative Hold) Barrie Hardern Conservative 2519 Gillian Boston Labour 1779 Andrew Richard Clark Green 394


Eleanor Elizabeth Carter Labour 2098 David Allan Neilson Lib Dem 1758 Matthew Paul Davies Conservative 1480 Stephen Paul Flinn Green 406


Kenneth John Edwards Labour 2266 Andrew James Knowles Conservative 2008

Howard Robert Johnson Lib Dem 1411

MARBURY (Conservative Hold)

Malcolm Roy Byram Conservative 2580 Charles Roy Garton Lib Dem 2429 Mandy Griffiths Labour 2003

MICKLE TRAFFORD (Conservative Hold)

David Knowles Rowlands Conservative 3427

Robert George Rudd Labour 2125 Robert William Jordan Lib Dem 1344 Andrew Burrow Pettigrew Independent 254

MIDDLEWICH (Conservative Hold)

Mark Barry Dickson Conservative 1749

Christopher Parkes Labour 1728 Michael John Parkes Middlewich First 1673

Peter John Hirst Lib Dem 856

NANTWICH (Independent Hold)

Arthur Moran Independent 2478 Barry Arthur Woolrich Conservative 1735 Phillip Swann Labour 1439 Philip Hocrofte Wilson Lib Dem 934

NESTON AND PARKGATE (Conservative Hold) Robert David Andrews Conservative 3123

Keith Butcher Labour 2638 John Derek Gaskell Lib Dem 1893 Henry Frederick Crocker UKIP 216

NORTHWICH EAST AND SHAKERLEY (Labour Hold) George Mainwaring Labour 2668 Barbara Smith Conservative 1765 Ann McEllin Lib Dem 1110


Daniel Hannaway Maguire Labour 3098 Willliam McKnight Charlton Conservative 2306

John Allan Turnball Lib Dem 1714

POYNTON (Conservative Hold)

Christopher Anthony Claxton Conservative 4035 Christopher James Robinson Liberal Democrat 2366 Elizabeth Middleton Labour 1611


John Paul Findlow Conservative 3707 Christopher John Wellavize Lib Dem 1404

Karen Jane Steward Labour 887

ROPE (Conservative Hold)

Margaret Joan Simon Conservative 3611 Pamela Mary Minshall Labour 2629 Andrew James Brown Lib Dem 1777

SANDBACH (Conservative Hold)

Neville Thomas Price Conservative 2523 Patrick Justin Darnes Lib Dem 1832 Stephen Albert Martin Corcoran Labour 1739


Roy Albert Giltrap Lib Dem 2855 David Thomas Brown Conservative 2408 Keith Edmund Haines Labour 1672 Alan Watkin Jones Green 326

WEAVER (Conservative Hold)

Nora Mary Dolphin Conservative 4039 Brian Jamieson Labour 2652


Adrian Henry Bradley Lib Dem 2956 Anne Tyrrell Conservative 2732 Dougal Julian Hare Green 449


Patricia Carol Fearnley Lib Dem 2988 John Angus Lovat Fraser Conservative 2974

David Anthony Lewis Green 421


Anthony William Hooton Labour 3470 Desmond James Worthington Lib Dem 1477

Eleanor Mary Johnson Conservative 1425


Pamela Booher Labour 2420 Malcolm Ian Gaskill Lib Dem 1867 Anthony Dahill Conservative 1252