Conservative candidate Paul Hardwick has been declared the winner of yesterday’s by-election in the Meadowbank parish ward of Bradley Stoke.
Mr Hardwick ran out a clear winner, with a margin of 111 votes over his nearest rival Caroline Sullivan (UKIP).
The Labour candidate, Robin Horsfall, finished third.
The Liberal Democrats, who held one of the two seats in the ward between October 2008 and May 2011, did not contest the by-election.
The victorious candidate told The Journal:
“I’m delighted with the result and extremely grateful to those who have helped in my campaign. Above all though I’m honoured that the people of Meadowbank have put their trust in me and I look forward to working for them on the council.”
UKIP had been hoping to add to their tally of three Town Councillors, all gained through defection of Councilllors elected as Conservatives at the May 2011 election.
The contest was seen by some as a “power play” between the Tories and UKIP and both of those parties undertook unprecedented amounts of canvassing for such a minor by-election.
The Conservatives are understood to have delivered at least eight different leaflets to the 2,449 electors in the ward. They also called in local MP Jack Lopresti and South Gloucestershire Council leader John Calway to knock on doors.
UKIP responded by bringing in National Executive Committee member Neil Hamilton and South West MEP William Dartmouth.
Cllr Ben Walker (UKIP) told The Journal:
“UKIP are extremely proud of the election result. Although disappointing not to have won, as Caroline Sullivan is an exemplary candidate and would have served the ward well; it took an immense effort from the Tories, even pulling in Regional Party Management to assist and drag out every party supporter.”
“It was interesting to see so many Tories on the streets for a minor by-election. For UKIP, the march continues as we build support and branch membership. We would like to thank everyone who voted UKIP and remain on hand to deal with any issues for any of the residents of Bradley Stoke.”
The by-election result leaves the political make-up of Bradley Stoke Town Council unchanged – with 12 Conservative members and three from UKIP.
Full result of the Meadowbank By-election 2012:
- Paul Hardwick (Conservative) 251 votes
- Caroline Sullivan (UKIP) 140 votes
- Robin Horsfall (Labour) 117 votes
The turnout was 20.8%.
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