The Harrogate and Knaresborough Labour party have commented on the Bilton elections where it saw the previously held conservative seat falling to LibDem.
- 395 – Conservative (Neil Bentley)
- 208 – Labour (Andrew Gray)
- 623 – Liberal Democrats (Val Rodgers)
- 127 – UK Independence Party (David Simister)
Kevin McNerney of the Harrogate and Knaresborough Labour party said:
Another by-election, another stunning result for LibDems. On a turnout of 31% Val Rodgers won the seat back from the Tories for the LibDems, beating Labour into 3rd place. The Council is however, still run by the Tories with a substantial overall majority.
Despite a vigorous campaign by Labour their candidate Andrew Gray failed to make an impact. Labour must be thinking what else they can do (good campaign, impressive candidate and poor national support for LibDems) to get anywhere in local elections.
The Tories saw their vote collapse through a combination of strong support for LibDems and small but significant vote for UKIP.
This result confirms the LibDems are back locally but will not affect the Council being run on Tory lines.