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‘Cliff would be proud’ - Conservative councillor elected in Yare and All Saints by-election

PUBLISHED: 16:43 13 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:41 13 July 2018

Left to right: Harry Clarke (Labour), Ed Connolly (Conservatives) and Andrew Thorpe (Liberal Democrats). Pictures supplied by: Harry Clarke/Norfolk Conservatives/Colin King

Left to right: Harry Clarke (Labour), Ed Connolly (Conservatives) and Andrew Thorpe (Liberal Democrats). Pictures supplied by: Harry Clarke/Norfolk Conservatives/Colin King

Harry Clarke/Norfolk Conservatives/Colin King

A by-election to fill former Norfolk County Council (NCC) leader Cliff Jordan’s seat has resulted in a Conservatives win.

Ed Connolly. Picture supplied by: Norfolk ConservativesEd Connolly. Picture supplied by: Norfolk Conservatives

Conservative candidate Edward Connolly was elected in Mr Jordan’s old seat in the Yare and All Saints division, after receiving 955 votes.

Labour’s Harry Clarke came in second place with 337 votes, and Liberal Democrat Andrew Thorpe received 182 votes.

The by-election was held on Thursday, July 12, from 7am to 10pm, and saw a turnout of 19.1pc, of an electorate of 7,726.

Votes were counted by Breckland District Council and the results were announced in the morning of Friday, July 13.

Ed Connolly (Cons), Harry Clarke (Lab), and Andrew Thorpe (Lib Dem) spoke at a hustings in Yaxham ahead of the Yare and All Saints by-election. Photo: Yaxham Parish CouncilEd Connolly (Cons), Harry Clarke (Lab), and Andrew Thorpe (Lib Dem) spoke at a hustings in Yaxham ahead of the Yare and All Saints by-election. Photo: Yaxham Parish Council

1,478 ballots were issued across the division, which includes Bradenham, Cranworth, Garvestone, Great Ellingham, Hardingham, Little Ellingham, Rocklands, Saham Toney, Scoulton, Shipdham, Whinburgh, Westfield and Yaxham.

Eight ballots were unmarked or voided for uncertainty.

Read more: Conservative candidate elected in Cliff Jordan’s former Norfolk County Council seat

The result means the balance of seats at County Hall, which is under Conservative control, will remain the same.

Cliff Jordan, the former leader of Norfolk County Council, who died at the age of 73. Pic: Norfolk County Council.Cliff Jordan, the former leader of Norfolk County Council, who died at the age of 73. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

There are 54 Conservative councillors at NCC, while Labour hold 16 seats and the Liberal Democrats 11, in addition to two independent councillors and one independent (non aligned).

Mr Jordan, who chaired County Hall since May 2016, stepped down in May this year following a lung cancer diagnosis.

He died just weeks later, aged 73, triggering a by-election to replace him in the seat he held since 2001.

Tributes were paid to Mr Jordan following the result.

Council leader Andrew Proctor said: “We’re all very proud and happy with the result and I think Cliff would be very pleased.

“Andrew fought a good campaign and had a good team.

“He’s been elected, like all of us, to work for the good of Norfolk.”

Colin Noble, leader of the Suffolk Conservatives group and former Suffolk County Council leader, posted: “Great result in Cliff Jordan’s old Norfolk County Council seat.

“Well done to Edward Connolly and the Norfolk Tories hard work.

“Bet Cliff is looking down with a broad smile and a thumbs up.”

Read more: County council Yare and All-Saints by-election candidates grilled at public hustings

Conservative councillor Clare Bowes posted: “Congratulations to Edward Connelly on holding Norfolk County Council Yare and All Saints for [the] Conservatives.

“Cliffy would be proud.”

Breckland district councillor and Labour candidate Mr Clarke also thanked his supporters.

He wrote: “Thank you to all who voted for me and campaigned.

“Labour from third in 2017 to second today.

“Vote share nearly doubled.”

Read more: Candidates for Norfolk County Council Yare and All Saints by-election revealed

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