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Tory hopes shot down amid airbases concern

Tories tumbled to defeat in a Scottish council by-election amid concerns over defence cuts.

Independent Lorna Cresswell gained at Forres, Moray, after a campaign overshadowed by threats to the future of local RAF bases at Lossiemouth and Kinloss.

The SNP led at the first count but Ms Cresswell was elected after redistribution of other candidates' votes under the single transferable vote proportional representation system used for council polls north of the border.

When there is a by-election with only one seat at stake it is identical to the alternative vote (AV) system. UK voters are being asked in a referendum next May whether AV should be used for Commons elections.

Elsewhere Conservatives defended three seats but there were close calls at Rushall-Shelfield, Walsall Borough and Suffolk's Tower division where there was also disappointment for the Green Party which has the area's other councillor.


East Hertfordshire District - Hunsdon: Ind 339, C 206, Lab 31. (May 2007 - Ind 567, C 315, Lib Dem 57). Ind hold.

Isle of Wight Council - Chale, Niton and Whitwell: C 510, Lib Dem 365, Lab 76. (June 2009 - C 641, Lib Dem 404). C hold. Swing 3.7% C to Lib Dem.

Moray Council - Forres: First count SNP 773, Ind 562, C 463, Ind 463, Green 401, Lab 195, Ind 192, Pensioners 132, Ind 30. (May 2007 - Four seats, first count SNP 1602, C 1546, Ind 716, Ind 482, Senior Citizens 438, Ind 326, Ind 261. Elected, SNP 1, C 1, Ind 2). Ind gain from C. Swing 4.3% C to SNP.

Suffolk County - Tower: C 1005, Ind 950, Lab 759, Green 479, Lib Dem 300. (June 2009 - Two seats, C 2042, Green 1924, Ind 1846, C 1726, Lab 645, Lib Dem 641, Lab 624, Lib Dem 605). C hold. Swing 5.5% C to Lab.

Walsall Borough - Rushall-Shelfield: C 639, Lab 611, BNP 141, Ukip 90, Monster Raving Loony 42. (May 2010 - C 2348, Lab 1448, Lib Dem 956, Ukip 439, Green 170). C hold. Swing 7.4% C to Lab.