THE LIBERAL Democrats have claimed their first elected council seat in Kensington and Chelsea, after triumphing in the Colville ward by-election last night.
Long-term Notting Hill resident and campaigner Carol Caruana claimed 634 votes during yesterday's(Weds) election to be named the successor of Labour's Cllr Marianne Alapini, who resigned after being hospitalised with stress.
The Lib Dem win is thought to be the first in the borough's history. However, Cllr Caruana is not the first councillor to represent the party. In 2003, Cllr Jenny Kingsley defected to the group from the Conservatives.
The win means that three parties will represent the electorate in the Hornton Street council chamber for the first time in at least three years.
Ms Caruana gained more votes than both the Labour and Conservative candidates put together. The Tories came second with 330 votes and Labour trailed in third place with 300. The Green party gained 77 ballots and the independent candidate just 10.
The new councillor said: "Local authorities need a good opposition. It’s vital for democracy. But in Kensington and Chelsea for too many years there has been a vacuum instead.
"I will work hard in Colville to address this and make sure the residents have a strong voice in the Town Hall."
Voter turn out was 24.6 per cent.