LOCAL issues overruled national politics as the Liberal Democrats achieved a double by-election victory in Towcester last night.
Chris Lofts, who is already a member of Towcester Town Council and South Northants Council, took 61 per cent of the votes in the by-election for the Northants County Council division of Towcester.
Meanwhile during her first experience of local politics, Towcester resident Lisa Samiotis gained 59 per cent of the vote to secure one of the three seats in South Northants Council Towcester Brook Ward.
One voter leaving the polling station yesterday asked not to be named but said she voted Lib Dem in Towcester Brook and added: “Lisa Samiotis has done some positive things for the community.
“It is about time local councillors started representing the local community.
“She campaigned to save the lollipop lady at my grandson’s school. I hope she wins, she deserves it.”
Allan Davies, another Lib Dem voter said: “I’m not particularly impressed at their record in national government, but at local government I think they have a very good record. I lived in Milton Keynes and they were the most effective on the ground.”
Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesman for South Northants, Scott Collins, thanked the many Lib Dem supporters from outside the district who boosted the campaign: “We have been stunned at the level of support with canvassers coming from Chesterfield, Nottingham, Oxford and Bedford to name but a few and every corner and party in Northamptonshire. We owe you all so much.
“They said it couldn’t be done but we did it and by a massive margin.”
Both seats have been previously held by Conservatives. The British National Party campaigned in south Northants for first time for the county division.
One voter leaving the polling station expressed frustration at not having a Labour candidate to vote for after his nomination forms were rejected.
The full results are:
County Seat -
Lib Dem (Chris Lofts) 1279 (61 per cent)
Con (Ian McCord) 638
Ukip (Barry Mahoney) 124
BNP (Mark Plowman) 66
Turnout 29.3 per cent.
Lib Dem (Lisa Samiotis) 774 (59.4 per cent)
Con (John Gasking) 401
UKIP (Peter Conquest) 129
The result means the council is now made up of 32 Conservative councillors, three Liberal Democrat councillors and one Labour councillor and six independents)
Turnout 29.1 per cent