Green Party candidate Ricky Knight was one of the surprise casualties at the election, losing the Barnstaple Town Council seat he has held for 13 years. Fighting a campaign on three election fronts, Mr Knight polled 3,018 votes in the parliamentary, 666 in the district, and 940 in the town and parish elections. Mr Knight held the Newport seat on the town council since 2002 but contested the Pilton seat in last weeks election. He said he was gutted about not being re-elected in the local election, and added his voice to the call for a major reform of the electoral system. One of the important lessons for ordinary voters following the shock of the margin of the Conservative success in North Devon is the necessity to forget all about tactical voting, he said. A comfortable Lib Dem majority from 2010 became a similarly comfortable Tory majority in 2015. If the received wisdom is that a tactical vote for the Lib Dems is to deny a Tory victory, where did all those votes go? And how many tactical voters who did so again this time will now be regretting their lost vote? This is the ridiculous reaction to our winner takes all electoral system. The South West has turned blue and the Conservatives now control the district as well as the county council. The electorate has spoken clearly, but only within the restrictions of an archaic first-past-the-post system. At least the Greens are as one with UKIP and the Lib Dems on the need for electoral reform. But Mr Knight said he was buoyant about the future for the Green Party in North Devon. The main compensation for the Greens however has to be the significant increase in our parliamentary vote (5.8 per cent), up nearly 500 per cent from 2010, retaining our deposit. We may not have gained any district seats but we competed in 24 of the 27 wards with 37 out of 43 candidates, gaining 15.8 per cent of the vote, far higher than Labour (2.6 per cent) and UKIP (4.6 per cent). We are buoyant but not complacent, learning all the time and relishing the huge influx of new keen - and young - members. There will be even more impressive results for us in future as more and more people become aware of our policies and trust in our electability.