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Labour wins Margate Central ward by-election for Thanet council

Labour has won another seat on Thanet council after it took the Margate Central ward.

The party scored a decisive victory although the turnout was low at just 21%.

Labour candidate Ian Venables polled 454 out of 789 votes, with a 57% share of the vote, with the Conservatives in second place with 190 votes and Ukip third with 52 votes.

Ian Venables, Labour councillor for Margate Central
Ian Venables, Labour councillor for Margate Central

The by-election was triggered by the resignation of Jeff Elenor, who was voted in in 2015 when Ukip took control of the council. He was voted in as a Ukip candidate but defected to the Democratic Independent Group in 2015. He has moved away from the area.

The result leaves Ukip, which saw its share of the vote slump by 25%, with 26 councillors and the other parties with 29 members. It is expected to continue to run the council but it can be out-voted should the opposition parties join forces.

The by-election follows a defection last month by the former Ukip councillor Beverley Martin to the Conservatives.

The Lib Dems polled 33 votes and the Green Party with 23.

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