By-election shows Labour cannot win in Central Devon

8 Mar 2024
Mark Wooding (r) Alex White (c) Luke TAYLOR (r)

Liberal Democrat, Alex White has won the by-election caused by the resignation of former Conservative Councillor Stuart Penny for a Mid Devon District Councillor to represent the ward of Upper Yeo & Taw.

Alex polled 405 votes (52%) to the Conservative candidate’s 226 (29%). The Labour candidate, Hayden Sharp, came in a distant 3rd with only 91 votes (12%%).

“I am delighted that people have put their trust in me, and the Liberal Democrats, to continue to do the good work on Mid Devon District Council that we started last May, ” commented Alex. “Since last May the Liberal Democrats have set a balanced budget; we have started the process of closing down the loss making property developer 3 Rivers Development; have increased and widened recycling; and protected local leisure centres. It’s a record to be proud of coming after years of independent-Conservative chaos.”

“I’m delighted to be welcoming Alex to the Council,” said Liberal Democrat Council Leader Luke Taylor. “We’ve worked together on the Council before so I know he’ll make a real contribution as we improve Council services.”

“The residents of Upper Yeo and Taw have shown that they want change in choosing a Liberal Democrat over the Conservative candidate,” said Mark Wooding, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Central Devon. “I hope it will also put an end to the claims by the Labour Party that they can unseat the local Conservative MP.  If they were realistically going to win the Central Devon Westminster seat, when the General Election comes, they should have won here, or at least come a very close second. Instead they were a distant third and got just 12% of the votes. I note that neither the Labour or Green Party had representatives at the by-election count; it’s disrespectful to their voters, but perhaps says much about their expectations.

“I believe the result establishes that I am the main challenger to Mr. Stride. I represent a new start for Central Devon. Liberal Democrats will protect rural communities with policies that unhappy Conservatives, and Labour and Green Party supporters can all support. I hope Labour  ad Green Party supporters will now loan me their votes when the General Election comes. I am the alternative to returning a Conservative MP again.”

Upper Yeo & Taw by-election result
Result of the Upper Yeo & Taw By-election