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Fillip for Labour as party regains Newington seat in Thanet council by-election

Ukip has lost its seat in a by-election in Thanet that means the party has lost outright control of the council.

Labour triumphed in a tussle for the ward of Newington recapturing what had been a safe ward but was lost to UKIP in May.

Victor Karen Constantine said UKIP was unravelling and voters had become disenchanted with the party.

"Ukip is a shambles and has failed to deliver on its promises. This is an important result because this is supposed to be a flagship area for Nigel Farage. Instead, it has just become a soap opera."

Reality bites for UKIP - read the thoughts of our political editor Paul Francis on the by-election result

On the issue of the future for Manston, she said she was prepared to consider any plans that would bring jobs and investment. "I want to see what Stone Hill Park has to offer and the potential for investment," she said.

UKIP council leader Chris Wells said his party's candidate Duncan Smithson had been the victim of a "LabCon" pact that meant the council would not have as strong a voice on Manston and the efforts being made to re-open the former airport.

In a statement, he said: "Never before however has the LabCon coalition been so clearly visible and understood. Conservative actions in Newington, supposedly in favour of Manston Airport has strengthened the strand of anti airport sentiment on both Thanet District and Ramsgate Town Council. The oddity is that the Conservatives have done all this whilst claiming to be a pro-airport party."

Karen Constantine, Labour councillor, Mewington ward, Thanet
Karen Constantine, Labour councillor, Mewington ward, Thanet

Karen Constantine, a regional trade union representatives for the Royal College of Midwives, polled 288 votes.

The by-election was caused by the resignation of former councillor Vince Munday, who has moved to Thailand.

The result leaves Ukip as the biggest party with 26 seats, followed by the Conservatives with 19; DIG with 5 seats; Labour with 5 and 1 Independent.

The results are:

Karen Constantine: 288 (Labour) - WIN

Duncan Smithson (UKIP): 229

Adam Dark (Con): 156

Ian Driver (Green): 20

Alan Hodder (Independent): 49

Grahame Birchall (ind): 10

Jordan Williams (Lib Dem): 12

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