Pressure on Tories mounts as Ukip score victory ahead of local elections

By Tony Hudson

The Conservative party is under increasing pressure in the build up to next month's local elections after Ukip unseated another Tory in a council by-election.

Ukip gained their second seat on the Humberston and New Waltham council when candidate William Harness triumphed in the by-election held to replace Conservative councillor John Colebrook following his death in December.

The Tories fielded Humberston parish council chairman Harry Hall to defend the seat but, in a possible sign of Ukip's continuing momentum stemming from their second place finish in the Eastleigh by-election in February, were only able to secure second place.

This was actually the best result in a particularly bad day for Conservative council candidates: they were unable to finish higher than third in any of the other local by-elections held.

With local elections being held all over the country on May 2nd, these results do not look good for the Tories, who will be defending their control of 26 county councils and three unitary authorities in England in addition to the mayoralty of North Tyneside.