Labour have won their first seat in Worthing for more than 40 years.

The party's candidate Beccy Cooper has claimed a shock win in the Worthing Borough Council by-election for Marine ward.

Labour took 47.8 per cent of the vote, an almost 30 per cent increase in the party's share, while the defending Conservatives' vote dropped six per cent to 38.8 per cent.

The victory follows on from major gains the party made in Adur and Worthing in the last election.

Dr Cooper, standing in Worthing West, more than doubled her party's efforts from two years earlier by securing 18,091 votes while Sophie Cook standing in East Worthing and Shoreham cut Tim Loughton's majority from around to 15,000 to just 5,000.

West Sussex County Councillor Michael Jones, Labour, said: "This is seismic.

"In West Sussex politics terms, it's the equivalent of the asteroid striking the Earth and wiping out all the dinosaurs."

The by-election was called after long-standing Conservative councillor Joan Bradley stepped down in May after 13 years because of ill-health.

She sadly died just weeks after leaving the council.