Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, Conservative Dave Stewart, has lost his seat to Green Claire Critchison (Green).

The results are only provisional as no final declaration has been made.

However he told the County Press that he had seen enough to know that Green Claire Critchison had won.

The result in Chale, Niton and Shorwell is already one of the biggest stories of the 2021 local election on the Island.

It means a shake-up at County Hall, regardless of who takes control today (Friday, May 7).

Dave Stewart took on the role of council leader in 2017, winning 791 votes to Claire Critchison’s 313 and Labour’s Wendy Christine, 80.

This time, the race was a head-to-head, between Mr Stewart, Conservative and Ms Critchison, Green. 

Mr Stewart told the County Press: "I'm disappointed. Congratulations to Claire.

"I've had the fortunate position of leading the Isle of Wight Council, which is something I've enjoyed. In that time I've taken it, in my view, with the team I've had, from being nearly bankrupt to a financially stable position.

"We had a pandemic drop on us. I'm pleased we've come through that.

"I've now got the next stage in my career, including redecorating my hall."

He said the message was that voters wanted someone new and said he was unsure about whether the party would get the majority seats and called it an opportunity for 'fresh blood'.

Mr Stewart has held a seat on the Isle of Wight Council since 2010. 

Yesterday, voters cast their ballots in town and parish councils and for the Police and Crime Commissioner and the results of those will be known on Saturday and Monday, respectively.

Meanwhile, today’s count is for the reduced 39 seats at County Hall.

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