Tories slump at Tunbridge Wells by-election


The latest council by-elections saw a close call for Tories in a traditional stronghold with near misses for both Liberal Democrats and Ukip.

Conservatives' majority tumbled to just 149 over Lib Dems with arch eurosceptics only 22 votes further behind in third place at Kent's Tunbridge Wells East division in the town which is home to the legendary "disgusted".

Tories may be most concerned by Ukip's 15.4% surge since 2009 - when the party came second in European Parliament polls.

If this trend was repeated over coming weeks it could boost Conservative calls for a referendum on the EU, increasing strains on the coalition Government over the Eurozone crisis.

Ukip came second to Tories at Iver Heath, South Bucks District and to Labour at Failsworth East, Oldham Borough.

Plaid Cymru failed to recover its overall majority at Gwynedd County, North Wales when independents held on at Bryncrug/Llanfihangel. The scheduled May 3 contest for the ward had to be postponed when no candidates were nominated.



East Northamptonshire District - Barnwell: C 412, Lib Dem 130, Lab 101. (May 2011 - C unopposed). C hold.

Kent County - Tunbridge Wells East: C 1171, Lib Dem 1022, Ukip 1000, Lab 321, Green 109. (June 2009 - C 2372, Lib Dem 1532, Ukip 585, Lab 324). C hold. Swing 6.7% C to Lib Dem.

Gwynedd County - Bryncrug/Llanfihangel: Ind 212, Plaid Cymru 136, Ind 66, Ind 51, Voice of Gwynedd 35. (May 2008 - Ind unopposed). Ind hold.

Oldham Borough - Failsworth East: Lab 1199, Ukip 209, Lib Dem 109. (May 2012 - Lab 1585, Lib Dem 283). Lab hold. Swing 1% Lib Dem to Lab.

South Bucks District - Iver Heath: C 404, Ukip 196, Lib Dem 62. (May 2011 - Three seats C 872, 844, 800, Lib Dem 437, 221). C hold. Swing 4% Lib Dem to C.

Wealden District - Frant and Withyham: C 775, Lab 183, Lib Dem 116. (May 2011 - Two seats C 1391, 1210, Green 708, Lab 415). C hold. Swing 9.3% Lab to C.