Labour wins Firth Park by-election in Sheffield with just 41 votes
Labour has won a Sheffield by-election but held onto the seat with a heavily slashed majority.
Fran Belbin was elected as the new Labour councillor for Firth Park with a massively reduced majority of just 41 votes.
Former Labour councillor Alan Law, who stood down due to ill health, won the seat in May with a majority of 1,086.
In just five months, that majority had plummeted with Liberal Democrat candidate Irshar Akbar hot on the heels of Labour.
Both Labour and the Libs Dems said feedback from the doorstep showed voters were most concerned about local issues such as fly tipping, the district shopping centre and council house repairs.
Labour Council Leader Terry Fox said: “By-elections are unpredictable events but every vote is precious and we don’t take any for granted.
“This shows we have a long way to go to earn people’s trust but Fran will be an excellent councillor.
“We are listening to people and we are rolling out the Local Area Committees which will give residents more influence and a budget for their own community and we have also invested in tackling fly tipping so we should start to see a difference in neighbourhoods.”
Lib Dem Leader Shaffaq Mohammed said their vote had increased five fold and Firth Park was now an ultra marginal seat.
“We had a fantastic candidate and we can win here in the future and in communities nearby.
“People have given up on Labour in areas like Firth Park because Labour has given up on them. We gave people an alternative and said we can run this city differently.
“The Lib Dems offer a proper alternative to Labour with sensible policies, a listening approach and by working alongside residents.”
Turnout for the by-election has not been released by Sheffield Council but both Labour and the Lib Dems said it was similar to the 23 per cent turnout in May.
The results were:
Irshar Akbar (Lib Dem): 1050 votes
Fran Belbin (Lab and Co-op): 1091 votes
Marianne Nicole Elliot (Green): 162 votes
Steve Toone (Con): 258 votes
April Worrall (Ind): 155 votes