Labour secures victory in Leamington by-election

Chris King was elected as the councillor for the Clarendon ward for Warwick District Council last Thursday (June 16) after claiming nearly half of the vote share.

Labour’s candidate in a Leamington by-election has secured victory in the ward previously held by the party’s former and widely respected group leader.

Chris King was elected councillor for Clarendon on Warwick District Council last Thursday (June 16) after claiming nearly half of the votes.

Labour retained the seat, increasing its share of the vote by 14 per cent, after a by-election was triggered due to the unexpected death of the party’s former council group leader Jonathan Nicholls.

Chris King, The Labour Party's newly elected Leamington Clarendon ward councillor for Warwick District Council. Photo courtesy of Wawick and Leamington Labour Party.

Labour won with 1,064 votes, followed by the Liberal Democrats with 612, the Conservatives with 365, Green with 365 and UKIP with 35.

The turnout was a low 29 per cent with only around 2,000 people voting out of a total electorate of just over 7,500.

Cllr King has pledged to improve air quality, consider town centre pedestrianisation, promote a cost-of-living hardship fund and tackle anti-social behaviour.

He said: “I’m delighted to have been elected and couldn’t have done it without the support of the brilliant local Labour activists.

Jonathan Nicholls. Picture submitted.

“It was particularly important to me and the party to retain the ward after the loss of Jonathan, who was beloved and respected by so many residents.

“I want to move forward now and deliver on my pledges.

“I know that many people are suffering and need support – and I intend to do all I can to stand up for the most vulnerable in Clarendon.

"Warwick district needs councillors with vision, courage and commitment - I hope to live up to those expectations.”

Councillor King, a Leamington resident of 20 years, owns and runs a successful IT consultancy and has raised his children in the town.

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western said: “Labour has earned continuous representation in Clarendon at one of or both county and district level since 1991.

“It’s a stronghold for us, and it was especially important we retain the seat to continue Jonathan’s legacy in the ward.”

“I’ve known Chris for 10 years – he is a dedicated, energetic and intelligent community ambassador.

“Congratulations him and all those who helped him to be elected.”