Victory for Labour in Luton by-election

The by-election was won by LabourThe by-election was won by Labour
The by-election was won by Labour
Fatima Begum is the new councillor

There was victory for Labour in the South ward by-election for a seat on Luton Borough Council as Fatima Begum topped the poll with 547 votes.

She retained the seat for the party, which had been held since 2015 by councillor Paul Castleman, who died in August.

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Nigel Marshall received 332 votes for the Liberal Democrat Focus Team in second, with Abid Aziz on 198 votes coming third for the Conservatives.

Independent Marc Scheimann totalled 134 votes in fourth, finishing ahead of the Communist Party of Britain candidate Markus Keaney on 28 votes.

The turnout was 12.03 per cent and the margin of victory 215 votes. The Labour ruling group on the local authority has 32 seats again, the Liberal Democrats have 13, and there are three Conservatives.

There were 10,385 residents eligible to vote and the number of votes cast was 1,249, of which 1,239 were verified, according to the council.

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Ms Begum contested Crawley ward at the 2019 May local elections receiving 422 votes.

She came fourth, with the Liberal Democrats taking both available seats and managing to oust Labour's James Taylor in the process.

Councillor Castleman polled the most votes in South ward in 2019 with 938. A lifelong Lutonian, he was the council's executive member for planning and transport until a reshuffle in May.

The count was held at the town hall and presided over by borough council chief executive Robin Porter.