The people of the South Ward of Launceston voted today in a by-election for the town council caused by the sad death of Olver Harris.
The result was:
Launceston Town Council South Ward
Maurice Davey (Lib Dem) 160 votes 28.67%
Leighton Penhale (Ind) 157 votes 28.14%
Anna Duke (Ind) 104 votes 18.64%
Susan Roberts Alfar (Labour) 73 votes 13.08%
Ashley Crapp (Ind) 64 votes 11.47%
Turnout 18.25% (no poll cards)
Lib Dem gain from independent
Obviously it's always good to win, but three votes was a very close margin. Huge congratulations to Maurice who will, I'm sure, be an excellent town councillor. Commiserations to the other candidates, particularly Leighton. I can't imagine how it feels to lose by such a close margin and I feel for him. With the whole town council up for election in just 15 months time, I hope that all the losing candidates consider standing again at that time.
I've noted in the result above that there were no poll cards issued for this election. The resultant turnout of 18.25% is pretty poor. When you consider that just about half of those who did vote did so by post (the postal vote turnout was well over 50%), you see that the turnout on the day (albeit a cold February day) was truly awful. I know that a town council by-election is not the most exciting contest, but it is still important and I know that many people were simply unaware of when the poll was taking place. I think that poll cards should be mandatory for all such contests, even if they do cost a bit of money to send out.