THE Conservatives have retained their vice-like grip on East Hampshire District Council with two holds in Thursday’s by-elections.
The elections in Clanfield and Finchdean ward, and Petersfield St Mary’s, kept the number of blue seats in the mainly rural district at 42 out of 44.
Clanfield and Finchdean ward became vacant after the incumbent Tony Denton stepped down due to work commitments just a year after he was voted in.
Nigel Wren took the seat for the Conservatives with a large majority, at 765 votes.
He was followed by Liberal Democrat Elaine Woodard with 410 votes and UKIP’s David Alexander with 303 votes.
In Petersfield St Mary’s Conservative David Holdaway took 193 of the votes, the Green’s Julie Yardley took 107, Labour’s Bill Organ polled 86 while independent Rupert Sayer managed to take 32 votes.
Councillor Ken Moon, who also represents Clanfield and Finchdean for the Conservatives, said he was very pleased with the result.
He said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted with the Conservative hold. Nigel polled 52 per cent of the vote. He will be a good member to serve the people of Clanfield and Finchdean.’