Conservative victory from out of a hat – literally

Posted by David Boothroyd
View David's blog
9 years ago / November 3, 2009

The Conservatives kept hold of their seat on North Somerset council in Clarence and Uphill ward on 18 December, but only by the good fortune of their candidate being drawn from a hat after the votes in the election were tied. The Conservative candidate Ami Patel found herself opposed at the polls by John Ley-Morgan, whom she had defeated for the selection, and also by former Conservative councillor John Carter, in addition to Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates. After a count and a recount had both shown Patel and Ley-Morgan tied on 477 votes, their names were put into a hat and the returning officer drew out that of Mr Patel.

This was only one of six byelections, and several of the others also saw close results. The Liberal Democrats had the only gain of the night, winning Newchurch division on the Isle of Wight council by 12 votes from the Conservatives, although their successful candidate will have to defend his seat in June. The Conservatives held off a BNP challenge to hold Ibstock and Heather ward on North West Leicestershire district council by 15 votes, with Labour only a further 31 votes behind. Labour kept Kells and Sandwith division on Cumbria county council by 16 votes from the BNP.

Two other seats were held with slightly more comfort. Labour held Glyncoch ward on Rhondda Cynon Taff county borough council, and the Conservatives held Thrapston Lakes ward on East Northamptonshire district council.

Albert Thornton, elected as a Labour councillor on Lancashire county council for Morecambe South division, has joined the Conservatives.