Tories celebrate victory at by-election

TORY politicians in Suffolk Coastal are celebrating a narrow victory today after winning a by-election in a traditionally safe seat by a narrow margin.

TORY politicians in Suffolk Coastal are celebrating a narrow victory today after winning a by-election in a traditionally safe seat by a narrow margin.

Conservative candidate Steven Hudson held the seat of Witnesham on the district council after taking 53.7 per cent of the votes (316), a majority of just 44 over the only other candidate, Lib Dem Andrew Houseley(272).

The last time the seat was contested, in May last year, the Tories took 82.5 per cent of the vote, a majority of 443.

Andrew Aalders-Dunthorne, Lib Dem candidate for central Suffolk and north Ipswich at the next general election, said: “This marks a huge swing to the Liberal Democrats, and clearly shows that it is going to be a tight contest in the general election between the incumbent Tory and the Liberal Democrats.

“While we didn't take the seat, the work goes on and increasing our vote to over 46pc from a standing start bodes very well for the future.”

Victor Steven Hudson, who is also a member of Suffolk County Council, said he was delighted to win but felt it was easy to read too much into the swing as the Lib Dems did not field a candidate the last time the seat was contested.

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“Last time we were against Labour and this time only the Lib Dems stood so you would expect a change in the balance.

“It is very difficult to compare the two elections.”

The by-election was called following June's resignation of Tory Kate Waddell because of increasing work commitments.