The surprise of the the local council election here in Debenham is that the Green candidate passed the Lib Dem and Labour candidates to take second place.
The election for our Mid Suffolk district councillor was hardly followed with widespread interest. It would have taken more than a landslide to oust our Conservative representative and the Tories were extremely unlikely to lose control of the council.
But things have changed. The Lib Dem melt-down means that the Greens (Mid Suffolk Green Party) and their allies are now the official opposition on Mid Suffolk District Council.
The composition of the council is now: Conservative 22 (+1), Lib Dem (6 (-4), Independent 5 (+1), Green 4 (+1), Suffolk Together 2 (no change), Labour 1 (+1).
The result in Debenham was a disaster for Lib Dem Xy Stanfield who polled just 92 votes this week compared with 234 in 2007 when the turnout was considerably lower.
It was not a great day for the Conservative incumbent Kathy Guthrie who saw her share of the poll drop from around 70% to 53%. Her vote increased a little, from 486 to 509.
In second place was Brian Fearnley (Green) with 178 votes, marginally ahead of Jennifer Chattington (Labour) with 176. The turnout was about 50 per cent compared with 40 per cent in 2007 when there were only two candidates.
It is hard to believe that it is not that long ago that the Debenham seat was held by a Liberal Democrat.
Things were not quite so bleak for Lib Dems in every part of the district. Mark Valladares, who is secretary of East of England Lib Dems, stood for the first time in Stowupland, was runner-up and substantially increased his party’s vote.
Full results at Mid Suffolk District Council.