THE Conservatives in Clacton are celebrating victory in yesterday's by-election.

Tory Maurice Alexander beat Ukip's second-placed Teresa O'Hara by 197 votes.

Labour were third, followed by the Lib Dems, and the Green party secured just 15 votes.

The by-election for the Tendring Council seat was called after the death of St James ward councillor John Hughes earlier this year.

Neil Stock, leader of the Conservative-led council, said: "This result really shows that Clacton MP Douglas Carswell was right when he said Ukip has served its purpose.

“Ukip had a lot of support in Clacton because lots of people wanted a referendum on the EU.

“Now that has been done and Article 50 triggered, there really is no reason for Ukip to exist anymore.”

Mark Stephenson, leader of the council's Ukip group, said: “Seeing as lately the Conservatives have come second in three district council by-elections and third in a county council by-election, we could claim the same thing about them.

“As for Clacton’s MP, having failed two parties and 3.7million Ukip voters, I’m surprised the leader of the council would take any notice of him whatsoever.

“Perhaps Mr Stock knows something I don’t.”

Turnout for the election was just 23 per cent.

The results were:

  • Maurice Alexander (Con) 371
  • Teresa O'Hara (Ukip) 174
  • Wendy Brown (Lab) 116
  • Sean Duffy (Lib Dem) 99
  • Rosemary Dodds (Green) 15