LABOUR has celebrated an important by-election gain in Carlisle this week.

Chris Wills is Labour's new councillor for Currock and Upperby on Carlisle City Council after winning a by-election on Thursday.

Councillor Wills received 57.5 per cent of the votes for Labour, Geoff Mitchell received 37.2 per cent for the Conservatives and Tom Adams received 5.3 per cent for the Green Party.

Carlisle Constituency Labour Leader Les Tickner said: "It's an excellent gain for the party, hopefully a springboard to taking full control of the city council."

He pointed out that councillor Wills lives in Currock.

"Chris is local, I do find people like that the candidate lives in the area. I think it does help."

Cllr Tickner said that councillors who are a resident of the ward they represent understand the issues it faces and have already made contacts in the area.

636 people braved the weather to vote for Cllr Wills.

"It was a very clear majority Chris won by, a lot of people hopefully have come back to Labour."

He joins Labour councillors Colin Glover and Lucy Patrick in the ward.

Speaking of his victory, Cllr Wills said: "It was a very nice atmosphere at the count, it would be really nice if that kind of atmosphere was recreated in politics as a whole."

The hard work has just begun for the city council's new representative of residents in Currock and Upperby.

He said: "I'm looking forward to getting stuck in. The work is to come but I want to remember what people we're telling me (on the campaign trial). There are things that are very important to people and those issues need to be addressed."

Carlisle City Council has today confirmed that Currock and Upperby saw a turnout of 16.96 per cent for the by-election.

Cllr Wills said: "I think if there was a negative to the campaign it's disappointing the amount of apathy towards politics and politicians."

But he said that it is an exciting time to be involved in politics: "To be a part of a team within the engine of democracy, Local Government, it's a really exciting prospect."

Former leader of Carlisle Labour Cllr Glover said on social media: "Thanks to everyone who voted for Chris and thanks to our brilliant Labour team who have worked so hard."