Tories take control of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
Published by webmaster for 24dash.com in Local Government
By-election success for the Tories
Tories gained overall control of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in Hampshire, winning a landslide by-election victory in a traditional Labour stronghold.
Candidate Robert Taylor took a Buckskin seat to give his party 30 councillors compared with 29 for the combined total of other parties and independents.
However there is one vacant Tory seat.
This is the first Conservative council by-election gain from Labour since the end of May.
The by-election was caused by the resignation of Labour's former group leader David Potter.
It was originally thought that there would not be a contest under what is known as the sixth-month rule because the seat is up for election next May.
However, a closer examination of rules showed the vacancy had occurred before the critical deadline.
Analysis of nine comparable by-elections in December suggests a projected 14.6% nationwide Tory lead over Labour.
A calculation based on four wards where all three parties fought both times gives a projected line-up of: C 43.4%, Lab 28.1%, Lib Dem 21.5%.
There are barely four months until May's marathon mid-term English council, Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly contests, likely to be the last under Tony Blair's leadership.
RESULT: Basingstoke and Deane Borough - Buckskin: C 332, Lab 210, Lib Dem 123, Green 40. (June 2004 - Lab 384, C 251, Ind 152). C gain from Lab. Swing 17.1% Lab to C.
Copyright Press Association 2006
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