By-election: Tories cheered by poll data despite council seat loss

Labour is celebrating a council by-election gain from Tories in a key parliamentary constituency.

Candidate Gordon Cowan took a seat in Kent's Dover Town division with a big swing.

The outcome is a disappointment to Conservatives as it comes in Dover constituency where they achieved a spectacular general election gain in May.

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However Labour faced dismay in east London's Tower Hamlets Borough where there was a win for Fozol Miah of the left-wing Respect party.

The result was technically a Respect gain from independent after the resignation of former Labour council leader Lutfur Rahman after his election as mayor of Tower Hamlets left a vacancy.

He had defied the party's decision to bar him from running as its mayoral candidate by standing as an independent backed by Respect.

He won by a landslide.

Despite losing the Kent seat, the Tories were set to be cheered after analysis of six comparable results this week suggests a projected 4.6 per cent nationwide lead for them over Labour.

There are still two more by-elections before Christmas: in Wiltshire on Tuesday and East Hertfordshire on Thursday.