Labour win in Rainhill and Parr by-election

Two Labour stalwarts have been elected to the borough's council following by-election wins in Parr and Rainhill last night.

Andy Bowden returns to the town hall after a break of almost 12 months, winning the seat in Parr vacated by the death of Ken Pinder with 851 votes.

A former cabinet member with the previous Labour administration, Coun Bowden stepped down from local politics in May last year.

However, the Parr election proved a disaster for the Conservatives after they were forced into last place by the British National Party (BNP), who polled 183 compared to the Tories' 55.

In Rainhill where a by-election was held following the death of former council leader Mike Doyle, Barrie Grunewald polled 1,562 to secure the seat for Labour.

An aide to St Helens MP and Northern Ireland secretary Shaun Woodward, Coun Grunewald has been active in the local Labour party for several years.

Other candidates standing in the Parr ward were:

Mark Arnold (Ind) 98 votes

Barry Dodd (Lib Dem) 511

Andrea Pennington (Green) 27;

Paul Telford (BNP)183;

Madeleine Wilcock (Conservative) 55.

Turn out was 20.14 per cent

Other candidates in Rainhill were:

Denise Aspinall (Lib Dem) 1059

Stephen Bligh (Con) 512

David Rothwell (Green) 80

Eric Swindells (BNP) 215.

Turn out was 38.15%

Candidates standing in the Rainhill Parish West election were: Barrie Grunewald (Labour) 405 votes (elected); Denise Aspinall (Liberal Democrat) 219; Stephen Bligh (Conservative) 52; and Eric Swindells (BNP) 54. Turn out was 36.37%.