Labour cling on in Jaywick by five votes

Tories come close in Tendring district council by-election

THE Conservatives came within five votes of winning a shock victory in Jaywick at a Tendring district council by-election.

Nevertheless, Labour claimed its success in Golf Green ward was a major setback for the Tories, who in last year’s Essex county council elections had won the division which includes Jaywick.

The by-election was caused by the death of one-time Labour stalwart Roy Smith who defected to the Community Representative group before joining Tendring First last year.

Thursday night’s result, which produced a swing of 4.3% from Labour to the Tories, was a major blow to the Liberal Democrats, who trailed in last place behind the British National Party and an Independent candidate.

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Jaywick is one of the most deprived areas in the East of England and former MP Ivan Henderson, who is Labour’s candidate in Clacton at next month’s General Election, said the result had given his volunteers a major boost as they start canvassing for the General Election.

He predicted that the Tories, who took control of the council after Mr Smith’s death, would now be outvoted at the annual meeting and lose power.

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However, Tory General Election candidate Douglas Carswell said on his Internet blog: “We’ve not held this district council seat since at least the 1970s. At the last set of district council elections in 2007, we got a mere 19% of the vote, finishing third.

“In what ought to be Labour’s safest ward in the district, they just clung on.”

The composition of the council following the by-election is: Conservatives 27, Tendring First 11, Labour 7, Lib Dem 6, Independent 6, Community Reps 2, 1 Other (John Brown).

Daniel Casey (Labour) 409, John Chittock (Conservative) 404, Louise Stanley (Tendring First) 313, Keith Beaumont (BNP) 139, Christopher Judd (Independent) 120, John Candler (Liberal Democrat) 63.

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