Four candidates contest crucial Thurston by-election - this is who they are

Voters will be taking to the polls in Suffolk on Thursday. Picture: SARAH lUCY BROWN

Thurston will go to the polls on February 17 - Credit: Archant

Candidates for a crucial by-election in Mid Suffolk, which could tip the balance of power, have been published.

Thurston residents will go to the polls on Thursday, February 17, to elect one councillor for Mid Suffolk District Council, after Green councillor Wendy Turner resigned shortly before Christmas to move closer to her family in Sheffield.

Candidates contesting the seat are:

  • Austin Davies (Green)
  • Timothy Glenton (Liberal Democrats)
  • Philippa Wilding (Conservative)
  • Terence Wilson (Labour)

The ward is a two-seat ward, with Conservative Harry Richardson holding the other.

It is a significant by-election as the council is politically deadlocked in numbers following the 2019 local elections.

The administration side comprises 16 Conservatives and one Independent, while the 12 Greens (which included Wendy Turner) and five Liberal Democrats united to form an opposition group, leaving the authority split 17-17.

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It has meant the administration has relied on the council chairman’s casting vote to see some decisions across the line, and also made attendance at meetings to vote even more important.

A win for either the Green or Liberal Democrat candidate in Thurston would maintain the current split, while a win for the Conservatives would allow it to shore up its power without needing casting vote powers.

If Labour wins, it would represent its only seat on the council.

The polls in Thurston will be open from 7am to 10pm on February 17, with votes counted and results declared that night or early Friday morning.