Tory counts his blessings as he sweeps to success in Fenland by-election

THE Conservatives secured a convincing victory in last night’s County Council March North by-election which attracted only a poor turnout.

Steve Count emerged victorious with 616 votes ahead of Labour’s Louis Sugden, taking 282, and the Liberal Democrats’ Will McAdam with 277.

Count’s 52.4 per cent share of the vote was even sweeter after he was de-selected from his March West Fenland District Council seat last month and resulted from a lowly 21.4 per cent turn out.

The vacancy, which arose after the death of former mayor, Councillor John West, was contested by youthful candidates, 18-year-old Sugden, who studies at Neale wade Community College, and 22-year-old McAdam.

The Tory Councilllor said: “I am absolutely delighted and relishing the challenges ahead to fight for the residents of March to make sure that their money is well spent and to ensure that we get our fair share here in Fenland.”

Debbie Clark, organising secretary for North East Cambridgeshire Conservative Association, said: “Steve, together with his wife June, has worked tirelessly throughout the campaign and the result is richly deserved.”

Labour activist, Martin Field, said: “The Lib Dems had 30% in March North in 2009- more than twice the Labour vote- but they are now third. Being the challenger to the Tories is virtually their raison-d’etre in the south east. If they start coming third, they are truly toast.”

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Lorna Spenceley, Liberal Democrat candidate for North East Cambridgeshire in the May 2010 general election, said: “It’s not an easy time to be contesting local by-elections but Will is an excellent local candidate, one to watch for the future.”