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Date announced for crucial Torbay by-election

Polling Station (Image courtesy: Elliott Stallion/Unsplash)

Outcome will affect the bay's balance of power

A by-election for a crucial seat on Torbay Council will be held in June.

The poll in Wellswood arises because of the recent death of Cllr Patrick Joyce. The deadline for nominations is 4pm on Thursday 9 May, with voting taking place four weeks later.

The by-election will have a crucial effect on Torbay Council’s delicate balance of power. Cllr Joyce was elected as a Conservative last May, but later left the party to form the Prosper Torbay group along with fellow Conservative Katya Maddison.

They said they felt they would be better able to represent local residents by being outside the Conservative group.

If the Conservatives win back the seat, they will have 18 places on the 36-seat council, the same as the number held by the coalition and Prosper Torbay combined.

If the seat is won by a Liberal Democrat or an Independent candidate, that would give the coalition 18 seats to the Conservatives’ 17 and Prosper Torbay’s one.

If that happened, it would mean the coalition regaining control of the council.

If another Prosper Torbay candidate wins the seat, the situation will be as it was when Cllr Joyce was sitting on the council.

The by-election will be on Thursday 6 June.

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