Conservatives trounced in poll

There was heavy humiliation for John Major early today when the Tory candidate in the Islwyn by-election scraped an embarrassing fourth place, slipping from second in the 1992 election, and losing his deposit with just 913 votes.

As Labour's Don Touhig swept to an expected comfortable victory with a 13,097 majority in the South Wales seat vacated by Neil Kinnock, Plaid Cymru's Jocelyn Davies delighted nationalists by emerging as runner-up with 2,933 - 12.7 per cent of the vote.

But the verdict from the valleys on Tory candidate Robert Buckland - his share of the vote slumped from 14.8 per cent in 1992 to just 3.9 - is a clear rebuff to Mr Major in the wake of the Tories' slight improvement in recent opinion polls.

Yesterday's appalling weather exacted a heavy price on voter turnout - just 45.26 per cent compared with 81.5 at the general election. But Mr Touhig surprised even Labour activists by none the less securing a healthly 69.17 per cent of the vote, not far behind the 74.3 per cent bequeathed by Mr Kinnock when he resigned to become EC transport commissioner.

Mrs Davies, 35, a well-known local politician, schools inspector and the only woman candidate fought a hard campaign and Plaid Cymru will interpret her relative success as a powerful vote for Welsh devolution.

Mr Blair has pledged to create a Welsh Assembly, but details about its scope and powers are still out for consultation. But Labour concentrated its by-election campaign on jobs, health and quality of life. The Liberal Democrats are strong supporters of devolution and and regional government, but their candidate John Bushell stayed in third place with 2,448 votes, 10.6 per cent.

Full results: Don Touhig (Lab) 16,030; Jocelyn Davies (PC) 2,933; John Bushell (LD) 2,448; Robert Buckland (C) 913; David Sutch (Loony) 506; Hugh Moelwyn Hughes (UK Independence) 289; Timothy Rees (Nat Law) 47. Lab majority 13,097

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Qualified Primary Teaching Assistant

£64 - £73 per day + Competitive rates based on experience : Randstad Education...

Primary KS2 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Primary NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Primary NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam