I agree with your big picture assessment, I am sure this was a ‘nice to win’ rather than ‘must win’ seat. Down in the small stuff, as a voter I’d observe that the two other conservative Cllrs, Hanson & Nardelli, are loathed to leave their comfort zone, engage with their wider electorate or respond to local issues and wear the cloak of invisibility.
Rhodri David Elwyn Morgan came to my doorstep but seemed oblivious to the detail of ward issues, he and his sidekick just gave out the usual blue soundbites but there was no compulsive reason to vote for this candidate beyond party colours.
My hunch is those who voted last time for Sally-Ann Ephson RIP may have felt more motivated to turn out to vote for her successor given the circumstances of this election. The new build flats in this ward, less face it, are mostly dark at night time so don’t expect a noticeable turnout from these millionaire ghost towns or offshore postal votes to flood in.
Despite this win, WBC continue to oppose local resident’s sentiment (and Heritage Lottery Fund) by blocking the re-instatement of Battersea Park, refusing to remove the new sea of tarmac and preferring this new revenue stream to park large vehicles inside the park overnight. Formula E will make good their damage, but WBC are keen to trade Queenstown green grass for cash. Let’s see if our new Cllr Dikerdem comments or campaigns on local issue or maintains Ward silence with Hanson & Nardelli.
You din’t mention the wider alienation between the electorate and politicians, so it would be no surprise if turnout reduces further whilst WBC continues to breath its own air until the next council election.