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Election result

Polling station stock
Polling station stock

by Alan Watkins

The Tories have swept the board in two by-elections in Gravesham.

Julia Burgoyne won the Meopham North seat on Gravesham council while Bryan Sweetland won the Kent County Council Gravesham Rural seat, which covers all the rural areas of Gravesham including Meopham, Higham and Shorne.

There was extra security at some polling stations yesterday, and at this morning's count at Gravesham Civic Centre, after UKIP candidate Geoffrey Clark claimed in his manifesto mothers with babies detected to have Down's syndrome and other disabilities should have compulsory abortions.

UKIP are taking disciplinary action against him.

Mr Clark did not attend today's count, although he was out at polling stations yesterday.

The results were returned in little over an hour. Almost half the votes were made by post and the council said it had had some calls yesterday from people trying to withdraw their vote.

The results are:

Meopham North (Gravesham council)

Julia Burgoyne (Con) 419 - elected

Douglas Christie (Lab) 108

Geoffrey Clark (UKIP) 204

Martin Wilson (Lib Dem) 36

Turnout: 21.97%

Gravesham Rural (Kent County Council)

Douglas Christie (Lab) 397

Geoffrey Clark (UKIP) 634

Gill McGill (Lib Dem) 91

Bryan Sweetland (Con) 1,780 - elected

Turnout: 17.83%

The vacancies arose after the death of Cllr Mike Snelling.

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