SKDC ELECTION: South Kesteven Conservatives brace themselves for losses tonight
Ruling Conservatives on South Kesteven District Council are bracing themselves for losses in the Local Elections tonight.
Polling at 107 polling stations ended at 10pm tonight, with councillors reporting a low turnout.
SKDC deputy leader Kelham Cooke, who organised the Conservative campaign, expected the party will be left with 35-40 seats, down from their current 44 seats.
Coun Cooke noted how the party had made gains during the last elections of 2015, which was held the same day as a general election, which also boosted turnout.
This year, he expected many Conservative voters would stay at home due to unhappiness with the party nationally.
Other Conservative councillors have privately predicted anything between 6 and 12 losses.
One county councillor even suggested the SKDC leader Matthew Lee might be in danger.
However, Coun Lee was confident he would survive.
He said: "I trust the good people of South Kesteven will have seen our record of the past two years. We will wait and see. I'm very optimistic."
Opposition leader Coun Paul Wood (Ind-Viking) said he expected the Independents would do very well tonight.
"We only have four now. I hope we get 8-18. People are fed up with the national parties. That is what I have picked up going around."
Coun Wood cited Brexit as the factor.
He added: "It's a shame as this is a local government election. People don't necessarily relate to that."
Earlier, councillors started arriving around 9.30pm, with council leader Matthew Lee among the first.
After 10pm, proceedings kicked off with InvestSK Head of Arts, Michael Cross, announcing himself as Master of Ceremony, outlining how events will proceed tonight.
He has also just reported turnouts in several wards ranging from around 21 per cent to around 27 per cent.
Grantham Earlesfield reported a turnout of around 18 per cent.
SKDC chief executive Aidan Rave as returning officer also outlined the proceedings to follow.