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Labour paints Blackpool red

By-election count at Blackpool Sports Centre.  Labour's Pamela Jackson, Ian Coleman and Kathryn Benson celebrate their wins.

By-election count at Blackpool Sports Centre. Labour's Pamela Jackson, Ian Coleman and Kathryn Benson celebrate their wins.

Blackpool’s new Labour councillors are already getting down to work after the ruling group held all three seats in the town’s by-elections.

It means Labour can now boast a clean sweep of victories in all by-elections held since the last local elections in 2011.

UKIP gained ground, taking second place from the Conservatives in Hawes Side, but there was disappointment for the Lib Dems who failed to make a decent showing in any of the wards.

By-elections had been called in Talbot and Layton following the decisions by Sarah Riding and John Boughton to step down from the council, while the death of Norman Hardy last November prompted the Hawes Side by-election.

Turn out in all three wards was around the 30 per cent mark.

Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said: “Labour has won all three by-elections since 2011 and that will continue because we are listening to the people and what they want us to do.”

But the Tories said they remained upbeat going forward.

Coun Tony Williams, leader of the Conservative group on the council, said: “At this point in the political calendar we knew it would be difficult to win in three Labour stronghold wards but we most certainly reduced their majority on a low turn out polling day.

“It’s also obvious some Conservatives voted UKIP in the Euro elections and that also will have influenced their local vote.The Euro situation won’t be as big an issue in the May 2015 elections and I think that we can be encouraged by our results today and we are certainly upbeat and more confident going forward.”

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