Labor celebrate victory over Tories in Hove by-election

Union activists have celebrated winning a seat on the Conservative Council in a by-election.

Bella Sankey won the Wish congregation by-election, beating conservative candidate Peter Revell by more than 750 votes.

The by-election was triggered after the death in September of Conservative councilor Garry Peltzer Dunn, who had served as council representative in Hove for 50 years.

Former Brighton and Hove councilor and Green Party candidate Ollie Sykes finished third with 190 votes, followed by Liberal Democrat candidate Stewart Stone with 96.

Former Ukip boss Patricia Mountain, who led the right-wing populist party in the last general election, brought up the rear with just 34 votes.

Full results of the Wish community by-election

  • Bella Sankey (work) – 1,519
  • Peter Revell (Conservative Party) – 756
  • Ollie Sykes (Green Party) – 190
  • Stewart Stone (Liberal Democrats) – 96
  • Pat Mountain (UK) – 34

The result brings Labor to 16 councillors, with the Greens holding the most seats at 20 and the Conservatives at 11 – a record low since the council was formed in 1996. There are also seven independent councillors.

Turnout in the community was 34.2 percent, down nearly 17 percent from the last election in 2019, which coincided with citywide elections.

The Argus: Bella Sankey, right, with Labor Co-Chairman Carmen Appich and Council Chief Executive Geoff RawBella Sankey, right, with Labor Co-Chair Carmen Appich and Council Chief Executive Geoff Raw (Image: The Argus/LDR)

Some voters have had trouble casting their ballots after reports of absentee ballots failed to arrive due to Royal Mail strikes.

Residents affected by the recent industrial action have had to have their ballots reissued and collect them in person due to the disruption.

The victory is the second council seat Labor has won from the Conservatives this year, after the party won the Rottingdean Coastal by-election in May by 88 votes, with the Tories being ousted to third place by an independent candidate.

Ms. Sankey will only serve as city councilor for a few months before going on the campaign trail again for the citywide municipal elections in May next year.

She also announced that after being elected to the city council, she is stepping down from her role as director of the refugee aid organization Detention Action.

The charity said: “We hope you will join us in wishing Bella well in her future endeavors and supporting Detention Action as we make our work ever stronger.”

The by-election is likely to be the last test of support for the main political parties ahead of elections in about six months. Labor celebrate victory over Tories in Hove by-election

Fry Electronics Team

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