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Lib Dems win by-election victory from Labour

September 8, 2006 5:31 PM

Election CountThe first electoral test of public reaction to Labour's civil war has resulted in a crushing by-election victory for the Liberal Democrats.

The Liberal Democrats gained the Poulton North seat on Warrington Council, with Sharon Wilson taking 64% of the vote whilst Labour's share slumped to just 24%.

There was no comfort for the Conservatives, whose vote was halved compared to May 2006.

The result:

Sharon Wilson (Lib Dem) 1358 (64.2%)

Kevin Bennett (Labour) 505 (23.9%)

Francine Leslie (Conservative) 209 (9.9%)

Michael Jackson (Green) 43 (2%)

Lib Dem gain from Labour.

There was a 16% swing from Labour to the Lib Dems and a 14% swing from the Conservatives to the Lib Dems (compared to May 2006).

Liberal Democrat Chief Executive Lord (Chris) Rennard, who will chair the party's General Election campaign, said:

"This result reflects the fact that it is the Liberal Democrats who are the challengers to Labour in many of their former heartlands. We are well placed to capitalise on Labour's misfortunes at the next General Election and make another major advance at their expense.

"We gained 11 seats from Labour at the last election including constituencies in Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, London and Cardiff. We gained Dunfermline and West Fife earlier this year - the home of Gordon Brown who also ran Labour's campaign there.

"We will go to our conference in Brighton in high spirits thanks to Labour's disarray and the big swing which we achieved in almost winning the Bromley and Chislehurst by-election in July."