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Conservatives suffer defeats in latest council by-elections

Tory losses included a council seat vacated by a sitting Conservative MP.

Tories lost five council seats in the latest local by-elections – two to Labour, one to Liberal Democrats and two to independent or other.

Labour lost one seat but comfortably held two in addition to the two gained from Conservatives.

One of the Conservative defeats at Labour’s hands came at Medway Council in a poll in Rochester West ward following the resignation as a councillor of Rochester & Strood Tory MP Kelly Tolhurst.

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Conservative Kelly Tolhurst stood down (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Ms Tolhurst, first elected as MP in 2015, had a majority of 9,850 in her Commons seat at last year’s general election.

She topped the poll in the Rochester West ward when she and another Tory councillor were elected in the 2015 council election.

Ukip, which won Rochester & Strood in a 2014 by-election after then MP Mark Reckless defected to the party from the Conservatives, was forced into last place, behind the Greens, in the council by-election.

Voting was: Lab 1,212, C 1,007, LD 119, Green 107, Ukip 104. The turnout was 33%.

Conservatives lost a Nottingham City Council seat to Labour in a by-election in Wollaton West ward following the death of a Tory councillor.

Voting was: Lab 2,193, C 1,950, LD 237, Green 72, Bus-pass Elvis 41. Turnout 40.3%.

Tories were defeated by Lib Dems at Dacorum (Northchurch) in a by-election caused by the death of a Conservative councillor.

Voting was: LD 545, C 260, Lab 97, Green 19. Turnout 40.5%.

Conservatives lost a seat to a “no description” candidate at Rutland (Oakham South East) in a contest prompted by the resignation of a Tory councillor.

Voting was: ND 300, C 204. Turnout unavailable.

An independent candidate inflicted a defeat on Tories at East Hampshire (Petersfield Bell Hill), forcing the party into third place, in a by-election following the resignation of a Conservative councillor.

Voting was: Ind 178, LD 156, C 145, Lab 56, Ukip 11. Turnout 30%.

The defeat for Labour came at the hands of a local group in a by-election at Bolton (Farnworth) caused by the resignation of a Labour councillor.

Voting was: Farnworth & Kearsley First Party 1,204, Lab 969, Ukip 169, C 153, LD 23, Green 18. Turnout 24.3%.

Labour easily held seats at Harlow (Little Parndon & Hare Street) and Tameside (Droylsden East).

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