LABOUR activists are celebrating after the party gained a council seat from the Conservatives in a by-election.

Labour’s Robert Mcintosh won the Rottingdean Coastal by-election, beating the Conservative candidate Lynda Hyde and independent candidate Stephen White with a majority of 88 votes.

The Conservatives were pushed into third place by Mr White, with Ms Hyde trailing Mr Mcintosh by more than 250 votes.

The by-election was triggered following the sudden resignation of former Conservative councillor Joe Miller in March this year.

Mr Mcintosh said that housing issues, bin collections, the cost of living, and concerns over 'Partygate' all played a part in Labour's successful campaign.

He said: "The Conservative voter you get in the east of the ward are more liberal. [Prime Minister] Johnson fails on several points for them."

However, he also said that his team thought that the result would be a landslide.

"It wasn't but it was a fair number, and I'm very pleased about that," he said.

The Argus: Labour co-leader Carmen Appich (left), Robert Mcintosh (centre) and Lloyd Russell-MoyleLabour co-leader Carmen Appich (left), Robert Mcintosh (centre) and Lloyd Russell-Moyle

Brighton Kemptown MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle said: "I think this bodes very well for the local elections next year. This is the first time we have won Rottingdean Coastal and I think it shows the people of Brighton and Hove are rejecting Conservativism, sleaze and deceit.

"People in Rottingdean have wanted a fresh start with Robert and I expect the people in this city are looking to see the back of the Conservatives."

Mr White said the result showed the "real strength of feeling against the Gas Works development" and that people are rejecting the main political parties.

He said: "The big main party beat me by around 80 votes - that's not a ringing endorsement."

When asked whether he will stand again, Mr White said he is not sure.

"It's a bit too early to say," he said.

Ms Hyde said that residents opting to vote for Mr White were to blame for the Conservative's defeat.

She said: "The independent has made a big big difference and that's it really."

The Argus: Votes were counted at Hove Town HallVotes were counted at Hove Town Hall

Full results of the Rottingdean Coastal by-election

  • Robert Mcintosh, Labour - 1443
  • Stephen White, independent - 1355
  • Lynda Hyde, Conservative - 1185
  • Libby Darling, Green - 504
  • Alison Wright, independent - 222
  • Stewart Stone, Liberal Democrats - 168

The result puts Labour on 16 councillors on Brighton and Hove City Council, with the Greens holding 20 seats, and the Conservatives 12. There are also six independent councillors.

Turnout in the ward was 44 per cent, down just 1.6 per cent on the last election in 2019 - which took place at the same time as elections across the city.

Elections were also held across four Sussex councils; Adur, Crawley, Hastings and Worthing.

Counting from these councils will begin later today, with results expected to be announced this afternoon.