Tories cling on to seat

The Tories only just held on to a seat in a by-election following the death of a councillor.

Ray Bastin won the vote at Waterloo ward on Havant Borough Council – but only by 48 votes.

Lib Dem rival Fred Dunford polled 801 votes compared to Councillor Bastin's 849.

Today, Cllr Bastin, 66, of Erica Close, Cowplain, said: 'It was much closer than we had imagined.'

It was the first time Cllr Bastin had stood for election and he now joins the 32 other Conservatives on Havant council. Two other Tories also represent Waterloo.

He added: 'I'm keen on the arts and I'd love to get an indoor space built in Waterlooville in which young people can perform.'

The by-election was held after the death in June of Wendy Brown, 63, after a short fight against cancer.

The political make-up of the council remains the same: Conservatives 33 seats; Lib Dems three, and Labour three.

Ray Bastin (Con) 849

Fred Dunford (Lib Dem) 801

Howard Sherlock (Lab) 95

Turnout 23.2 per cent