The County Council count at Westgate Hall, Canterbury
TORIES blew all opposition out of the water to retain their control of Kent in the county elections.
The Conservative party won 74 of the 84 seats being contested, with the Liberal Democrats taking seven and a struggling Labour taking just two.
Tory councillor Graham Gibbens retained his position of Canterbury City North East for the third time with 1625 votes.
Speaking from Westgate Hall he said: "I'm delighted. Voters want councillors who are local and get involved with the local community and I hope to carry on doing that."
Tory councillor John Simmonds also kept his seat for Canterbury City West blowing away the opposition with 2,118 votes.
"I was delighted to get 80 per cent of the vote," he said.
"It's a lovely rural constituency and I'm just very pleased the voters stayed loyal to me."
It was a similar story in Canterbury South East where Tory county councillor Michael Northey remained in his position with 2,458 votes.
He said: "It's a real thrill to me to be able to have a second term to finish some of work I started."
He negotiated for county councillors to have £25,000 to spend on highways projects in their areas.
The only seat in the city not to go to a Tory was Canterbury City South West which was retained by Liberal Democrat Martin Vye.
He said: "I'm very pleased that the people of Westgate and Wincheap have retained their trust in me for the next four years. I am supported by a very good band of city councillors who work very hard."
Tory Tom Gates won the race for a KCC seat at a canter in Faversham.
He said: "I was quietly confident that I could win but one never knows what with all the bad press recently.
"We had a very good turnout and it is good to know that the people of Faversham take voting seriously. There were five good candidates and it was a good fight so I am over the moon to have won."
Runner-up Stephen Rowlstone of the Liberal Democrats said: "We were hoping to really give the other parties a reminder that we are here.
"We were very pleased to hit second and push out Labour and our responses on the doorstep were really promising.
"It is the first time I have stood so it was positive result."
Labour's Trevor Payne was third. He said: "It has not gone well for us. We lost Sheerness which is bad for the people and bad for the party.
"We are standing by to be disappointed but we are in politics for the long term. We need to knuckle down and try even harder to connect with people."
Gary Miller of the Green Party came in last but still had a good number of votes. He said: "There is a huge amount of ill feeling towards the Government so it was a good time for other parties.
"We want to discuss the big issues like climate change and local councils don't seem to know enough about it. We want small towns to stand on their own two feet and keep things local. I would have been happy with third or fourth."
Despite some strong support for John Moore, the UKip candidate for Herne and Sturry with 1,095 votes, the victor was the current Tory councillor Alan Marsh with 2,083.
Cllr Marsh said: "My share of vote went up by five per cent so I'm very happy with that."
In Whitstable both Tory councillors Mike Harrison and Mark Dance kept their seats.
Cllr Dance said: "I'm absolutely delighted with the level of support.
"We have to continue to get as much resources we can for Whitstable."
In Herne Bay the Tories' Jean Law and David Hirst also kept their seats.
Cllr Law said: "We still have a lot of work to do but I'm delighted and privileged to still be re-elected."
"We have a lot of unfinished business," added Cllr Hirst. "There is a tremendous amount to do for Herne Bay but I believe Jean and I will be able to achieve much.
"I particularly want to target binge drinking, drug addiction and anti-social behaviour."
The announcement that Herne Bay BNP candidate William Hitches received 472 votes was met with a cry of "dirty filthy scum" from Lib Dem leader Cllr Alex Perkins.
A reflection of voters' disillusionment with the government was the lack of votes for the Labour candidates.
In the Canterbury district they have become the least supported party and have even been overtaken by the Green Party.
Labour candidate for Whitstable Phil Cartwright admitted: "My prediction that it wasn't going to be too bad was way out."
Delighted Green leader Geoff Meaden said: "We came third in most areas and doubled our votes from last time. We are really pleased about that."
THERE were 336 spoiled votes in the European elections and 185 in the county council elections.
Some councillors said it was a result of the MPs expenses scandal.
Tory Cllr Alan Marsh said: "We had around 30 spoiled votes where people had either drawn a line through the whole lot or written 'none of the above'.
"Someone had written 'You're all crooks and you all steal money.'
"It showed people are disillusioned with Westminster politics.
"People can be reassured that local government is not run on the same principles and values."
Whitstable had the most spoiled or rejected votes with 67 people posting votes which were either "unmarked or wholly void for uncertainty."
Tory Cllr Mike Harrison said: "I can't believe people took the time to go to the polling station to spoil their papers. It was just a wasted vote.
"They have been hearing what MPs have been doing and they are very angry but thank goodness some of them have still been voting locally."
COUNTY COUNCIL ELECTION RESULTS
Canterbury City North East
Graham Gibbens (Co) - 1,625 (elected)
Jo Calvert-Mindell (Lib Dem) 1,191
Geoffery Meaden (Green) 436
Alan Baldock (Lab) - 351
Turnout: 36.8 per cent
Canterbury City South West
Martin Vye (Lib Dem) 2,263 (elected)
Margaret Robinson (Con) 1,256
Elaine Godden (Green) 673
Jean Butcher (Lab) 391
Turnout: 38.3 per cent
Canterbury City South East
Michael Northey (Con) 2,458 (elected)
Philip Whitburn (Lib Dem) 1,804
Judith Meaden (Green) 687
David McLellan (Lab) 356
Turnout: 43.7 per cent
John Simmonds (Con) 2,119 (elected)
Derek Maslin (Lib Dem) 988
Stanley Evans (Green) 743
Ian Leslie (Lab) 472
Turnout: 35.8 per cent
Tom Gates (Con) 2,412 (elected)
Stephen Rowlestone (Lib Dem) 798
Trevor Payne (Lab) 682
Shirley Allen (UKip) 680
Gary Miller (Green) 553
Turnout: 36.8 per cent
Herne and Sturry
Alan Marsh (Con) 2,083 (elected)
John Moore (UKip) 1,095
Monica Eden-Green (Lib Dem) 826
Cecile Manning (Lab) 472
Turnout: 35 per cent
Jean Law (Con) 2,902 (elected)
David Hirst (Con) 2,805 (elected)
Margaret Flaherty (Lib Dem) 2,190
June Raybaud (Lib Dem) 1,862
Ronald Garretty (UKip) 1,614
Brian McDowall (UKip) 1,419
Michael Britton (Lab) 670
Aaron Kiely (Green) - 592
William Hitches (BNP) 472
George Price (Lab) 470
Turnout: 36.8 per cent
Mark Dance (Con) 4,905 (elected)
Mike Harrison (Con) 4,826 (elected)
Donna Dwight (Lib Dem) 2,118
Jolyon Trimmingham (Green) 2,072
David Mummery (Lib Dem) 1,876
Phil Cartwright (Lab) 1,365
Ben Furber (Lab) 1,247
Anne Belsey (Money) 523
Turnout: 40.4 per cent
Labour also took a battering in the European elections, dropping to fifth behind UKip and the Greens.
EU south east
Cons: 812,288 votes (no change) 4 MEPs
UKip: 440,002 votes (+1 per cent) 2 MEPs
Green: 271,506 (+4 per cent) 1 MEP
Lib Dem: 330,340 (-1 per cent) 2 MEPs
Lab: 192,592 (-5 per cent) 1 MEPs
BNP: 101,769 (+1.4 per cent)