IT WAS victory for Allerdale Labour in Maryport on Thursday and the group's leader believes it is reflective of the national picture.

Bill Pegram was elected for Labour as Allerdale Borough Council's Maryport South Ward representative.

The win is a Labour gain from the Independents and although the turnout was just 16.95 per cent, Cllr Pegram was pleasantly surprised to win comprehensively.

Cllr Pegram said: "It's brilliant for the party and myself, I didn't expect such a wide margin."

He was elected with 273 votes, Independent candidate Eric Galletly came in second with 149 votes and Steven Newton of the Conservative Party received 94 votes.

Cllr Pegram said: "I'd just like to thank the people who supported me and I'll do my best to honor the pledges I've given them.

"It was a big gain, it was quite tight before but with getting more than 60 per cent of the vote, it's a big swing. I leafleted everywhere that I was representing. Broughton Moor is important because it's outlying and they feel left out."

Leader of Allerdale Council's Labour Group Alan Smith celebrated the victory, despite a disappointing turnout.

Cllr Smith said: "Congratulations to Billy Pegram, he had a great campaign and it's paid off. The voters have put their faith in Billy and the Labour group once again in Maryport.

"Well done to Billy and well done to Maryport."

By-elections are seeing low numbers across the country and the leader of Allerdale Labour fears its symptomatic of a national loss of faith in politicians.

"16 per cent is a very poor turnout. It gave us the result we wanted but I would have liked a better turnout because it gives us a representation of the people out there."

Cllr Smith said: "I think people's confidence in councillors and MPs is at an all time low. "

Elected councillor also have challenges like the Coronavirus and local government reform to contend with.

Cllr Smith said: "It is a hard task at the minute but if we put ourselves up for election, we aren't going to shirk away from the hard decisions, especially with local government reform, it's not going to be an easy ride with the new councils."