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UPDATED: Labour victory in Wirral Council by-election
9:18am Friday 1st March 2013 in News
Labour came out on top as they secured a victory at last night’s Wirral by-election.
Phillip Brightmore picked up 1,411 votes in the Pensby and Thingwall ballot, which was held following the resignation of Tory councillor Don McCubbin.
Former cabinet member for children’s services Sheila Clarke came in second place for the Conservatives with 868 votes while Lib Dem Damien Cummins polled 834.
Jan Davison for UKIP gained 426 votes; Allen Burton for The Green Party received 74 and Neil Kenny for the English Democrats 53.
Council leader Cllr Phil Davies said the result sent a “strong message” to the coalition Government.
He said: “It was an absolutely fantastic night for Labour. To gain a seat from the Tories in Pensby and Thingwall was a really excellent achievement and I think it is a reflection of the anger that we picked up on the doorstep towards the Government's cuts to the council budget and working tax credits.
“I think people voted last night to send a strong message that the Government need to change direction. Phillip Brightmore will be a brilliant councillor and I’m really pleased for him because he worked very hard.”
The by-election was the borough’s third this year following polls in Leasowe and Heswall in January.
Leasowe was a victory for Conservative Ian Lewis and Heswall was held for the Tories by Kathy Hodson.
Last night's results mean Labour now have 37 seats in the town hall; Conservatives have 22 and Liberal Democrats have seven.
Liberal Democrats won the Eastleigh Parliamentary by-election last night, with the Conservatives pushed into third place by a late surge from the UK Independence Party.
Local councillor Michael Thornton held on to the seat vacated by disgraced ex-Cabinet minister Chris Huhne - polling 13,342 votes.
Ukip's candidate Diane James was second on 11,571 - more than 1,000 ahead of Tory Maria Hutchings (10,559) in a blow to Prime Minister David Cameron.
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