THE Conservatives have retained their stranglehold on Bournemouth council, after Pat Oakley won the Winton East by-election for them.

Cllr Oakley polled more than twice as many votes as his nearest rival – although there was a dismal turnout of 15.44 per cent.

He received 503 votes, while Labour candidate Mike Goff came second with 215 votes. The UKIP candidate Laurence Fear was just a fraction behind with 212 votes.

The Liberal Democrats will be upset to have come fourth, with candidate Matthew Gillett polling 191 votes. Sandra Hale, the Green candidate received 48 votes and Independent Kathleen Mortimer 34.

The result leaves the political composition of Bournemouth council unchanged. The Conservatives have 46 seats, Independents three seats, Labour three seats and Liberal Democrats two seats.

Cllr Oakley, who is chair of the Winton Forum, said: β€œThe reason I stood as a councillor was because I felt I could do more from within the town hall by working with the team of councillors that are there.”