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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Lib Dems win crucial by-election.

The Liberal Democrats tonight held on to Castle ward in a in a crucial city council by-election.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats had contested Castle ward in an election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Liberal Democrat group leader John Guest in September.

Olwyn Luckley, a charity funraiser, polled 538 votes for the Liberal Democrats, beating Labour's candidate Jessica Riddle, a former director of Carlisle and District Age Concern, who received 370 votes.

The low turn out is believed to account for just 22 per cent of voters.

Both parties had been canvassing the 4,100 voters hard in a ward that stretches from the Cumberland Infirmary to Aglionby Street, including most of the city centre.

The result will be a disappointment for Labour as a victory would have brought the party tantalisingly close to taking control of the city council. Labour is already the largest party, with 24 out of the 52 councillors.

The Conservatives have 20 councillors but remain in power thanks to Liberal Democrat support in the key vote to elect the council leader.

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