LABOUR have taken a Thanet council seat from the the ruling Tories, who were pushed into third place in yesterday’s Dane Valley by-election.
The Conservatives, whose previous candidate for the Margate ward Stephen Broadhurst was forced to resign when it emerged he spent much of his time in Panama, were piped to second place by Liberal Democrat Bill Furness, with Labour’s Sandra Hart taking the seat.
Mrs Hart, wife of Thanet Labour leader Clive, got 318 votes, Mr Furness took 260, Tory Ingrid Spencer 222 and independent Wendy Allan 130.
A cold, rainy day meant voter turnout was a dreary 17 per cent.
Mum-of-two Mrs Hart, 58, said: “I’m very surprised and pleased to have won.
“It shows that people of Dane Valley need to be listened to a lot more than they have been, about derelict properties in the area, about rubbish and many other things.
“As a hair dresser I am a very good listener. I look forward to representing Dane Valley in the council and thank everyone who came out to vote for me.”
Lib Dem Bill Furness said coming second was a historic result for his party in Thanet, and showed “people don’t want the Tories anymore”.
Conservative Ingrid Spencer said she was disappointed by the result which she put down to the bad weather which had made it difficult for her supporters to get out and vote.