Conservatives hold Torksey seat in West Lindsey by-election

Winning candidate Jane Ellis with Sir MP Edward Leigh.
Winning candidate Jane Ellis with Sir MP Edward Leigh.

A West Lindsey District Council by-election has been held by the Conservative candidate – despite a drop in votes.

Jane Ellis pipped her opponents to the post with 378 of the 1,064 ballot papers issued cast in her favour at Thursday night’s Torksey by-election.

The Conservatives celebrate the by-election victory.

The Conservatives celebrate the by-election victory.

She was followed by Liberal Democrat Noel Mullally (346), Brexit Party candidate Nicholas Pearson (299) and Labour’s Perry Smith (37).

When compared to May’s local election, despite a higher turnout (37 per cent in May) the swing saw the Conservatives lose 94 votes, while the Lib Dems gained 12. Labour and the Brexit Party did not run in May.

Following her win, Councillor Ellis thanked staff and supporters and wished her opponents well.

“I will work hard for everyone across the Torksey ward in my new role and I hope we can all come together to build a bright future for everyone,” she said.

Conservative leader of the district council, Councillor Giles McNeill, said he was “enormously pleased” by the result.

“After 11 years in power at the council, nine years in government, all the time protecting delivery of frontline local services, as funding from central government has disappeared to still be holding seats in tight contests like this, especially with the malestrom of Brexit, is a real achievement,” he said.

A total of four ballot papers were spoilt.

The turnout of the 2,448 electorate ward was 43.46 per cent.

The Torksey by-election was sparked following the resignation of Conservative member Stuart Kinch who stepped down after 16 years on the authority.

Mr Kinch, who had served the ward since 2003 said at the time that his business interests were “increasingly” coming into conflict with his role and that he wanted to spend more time with his young family.

The results mean the status quo is kept at the council, with the make-up continuing to be: Conservative 18, Liberal Democrat 12, Lincolnshire Independent 2, Gainsborough Independent 2, Independent 2.