Labour in by-election triumph

Labour is celebrating a council by-election gain from Tories in a key parliamentary constituency.

Candidate Gordon Cowan took a seat in Kent's Dover Town division on a big swing.

The outcome is a disappointment to Conservatives as it comes in Dover constituency where they achieved a spectacular General Election gain in May.

However there was bad news for Labour in East London's Tower Hamlets Borough where there was a win for Fozol Miah of the left wing Respect party at Spitalfields and Banglatown.

The result was technically a Respect gain from independent.The vacancy was caused by the resignation of former Labour council leader Lutfur Rahman after his election as mayor of Tower Hamlets.

He had defied the party's decision to bar him from running as its mayoral candidate by standing as an independent backed by Respect and winning by a landslide.

Despite the loss of the Kent seat there was some cheer for Tories.

Analysis of six comparable results this week suggests a projected 4.6% nationwide lead for them over Labour.

There are still two more by-elections before Christmas: at Wiltshire on Tuesday and East Hertfordshire on Thursday.