The results of the Walsall Council by-election for the Birchills-Leamore Ward which took place yesterday (Thursday) at Walsall Town Hall are now in.
And despite an exceptionally low turnout of less than 16% of the ward electorate, probably due to the controversial late seasonal calling of the election, the Labour Party’s candidate Tina Jukes is celebrating a predicted win with 835 votes.
The position became vacant following the death of long-serving Labour Councillor Joan Barton last month, who was the mother of the successful Labour candidate who now succeeds her.
Tina Jukes, who is a therapeutic residential support worker, said before the election that filling her mother’s shoes would be a huge challenge but that Birchills-Leamore deserved someone who knew the ward well and was as committed to local people as Cllr Barton was.
Since the next Council elections are set to take place in May 2012, Councillor Jukes’ term will be less than six months before she has to fight the seat again.
In today’s by-election, the other candidates’ results were as follows:
Conservative candidate Kamran Aftab received 512 votes; Chris Newey (English Democrats) received 130; UKIP candidate Liz Hazell received 59 and Leandra Gebrakedan (Green Party) 46 votes.
Turnout for the election stood at 15.9%.
The balance of power at Walsall Council now stands at 27 Conservative, 27 Labour, 5 Lib Dem and one Independent councillors, which should make for interesting times come 3 May 2012, the likely election date.
Our thanks to Walsall Council for making the results available so promptly and for making it possible for Twitter users to follow the election on online.