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David Jones becomes first Ukip councillor elected to Swale council after landslide win at Sheppey Central by-election

By Lewis Dyson

Ukip won by a landslide in the Sheppey Central by-election - securing more than half of the votes.

David Jones becomes the party's first candidate to be elected to Swale council and joins fellow representative Adrian Crowther, who defected from the Conservatives last year.

There was a poor turnout at the election with only 1,425 votes cast out of an eligible electorate of 7,156 (19.9%).

New Swale councillor David Jones
New Swale councillor David Jones

A total of 831 ballots went to Mr Jones which represents 58.3% of the final count and more than double of his nearest rival.

Tory candidate Tina Booth won 324 votes (22.7%) . She was followed by Alan Henley, representing Labour, who managed 240 (16.8%).

There were 24 people (1.9%) who crossed the box for "Mad" Mike Young of the Monster Raving Loony Party.

Speaking after he was announced as the winner, Mr Jones, of Marine Parade, Sheerness, said: "I'm delighted to be your representative for Sheppey and tomorrow represents a new beginning.

Ukip celebrate Sheppey Central win
Ukip celebrate Sheppey Central win

"We now have two of course on the Council. We have got to work very hard to earn the respect of the people who voted for me.

"It wouldn't have been possible without my campaign team. Particular thanks go to Lee Burgess and to the parliamentary candidate [Richard Palmer] and to Mike Baldock.

"They have given me great support throughout. It has been an interesting and varied experience.

"It's going to represent some change and it's placing us on the map."

The votes were counted at Thistle Hill Community Centre, Minster.

The by-election was called following the death of Sheppey councillor and former Mayor of Swale, John Morris, in May.

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