Islanders voted to rid of the Conservative-led council, that for four years cut services, eroded democracy, wasted public money and were wholly unaccountable.

Over 60 per cent of Islanders who voted, voted for non-Conservative parties or individuals, proving the Conservatives have no mandate to form the next administration.

The Conservatives don’t only lack the numbers in County Hall but the majority of the public cannot and did not back them.

We have seen the Conservative leader of the council ousted by a locally run campaign and someone who was ingrained in their community.

Read more: IW Council election results in full.

Bucking the national trend, we saw the Labour Party gain a councillor from the Conservatives in a seat that had been blue for over ten years.

We saw independents retain and gain seats across the Island, showing we no longer accept the status quo.

However, it is deeply worrying and saddening to see the vast majority of Islanders not cast their votes.

In the Osborne Ward the turn out was less than 30 per cent.

It seems voters don’t feel like their vote matters or their voice would not be listened to, so many did not bother to vote.

For too long this has been the case but in a handful of seats these votes would have been pivotal to oust even more Conservatives.

In Osborne I was just four votes away from beating the sitting Conservative councillor, in Haylands and Swanmore Les Kirkby was 14 votes from beating the sitting Conservative and in Ryde South East, Emily Brother was just 34 votes way from beating yet another Conservative.

These are just some examples that prove every vote does matter and counts, there is no seat where a councillor has such an overwhelming majority that it cannot be won by another candidate.

The importance of registering to vote and turning out to vote cannot be stressed enough because to ensure your voice is heard you must vote.

Thank you to the Islanders who voted and expressed your choice loudly and clearly, you don’t want another Conservative-led council.

That voice could have been amplified though, if more Islanders went out to vote and registered to vote, putting the power in your hands.

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