The Conservatives have held onto a council seat following a by-election in Pendle, on the same night they suffered a crushing defeat in a vote in Manchester.

The Tories held the ward of Barrowford & Pendleside, after a by-election was triggered following the sad death of local restaurateur and Conservative Councillor Carlo Lionti.

David Gallear, the Tory candidate, received 699 votes, triumphing over Labour’s Susan Nike who came in second spot with 436 votes, and Allan Vickerman of the Liberal Democrats who came last with 84 votes cast.

One ballot paper was rejected due to being unmarked or wholly void for uncertainty, with the turnout for the vote just 20.6 per cent.

Former councillor Mr Lionti died in October after a long battle with prostate cancer. The owner of Carlo’s Italian in Colne, the married father of four, was born in Sicily before moving to Lancashire 40 years ago and setting up his popular restaurant.

Lancashire Telegraph: Carlo LiontiCarlo Lionti (Image: Louis Holt)

Scores of tributes were paid following his death, with Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson describing him as “a wonderful man who cared so much about our local area”, and Pendle Council leader Nadeem Ahmed saying he was a “true gentleman who always had a smile on his face, who filled a room with laughter and always enjoyed sharing a joke”.

The vote has made no change to the make-up of Pendle Council, which remains under Conservative control.

The vote came on the same day the Stretford and Urmston by-election was held in Greater Manchester, triggered by the resignation of Kate Green who has left Westminster to join Mayor Andrew Burnham’s office as his deputy.

On a turnout of 25.7 per cent, Labour won 69.6 per cent of the votes, their vote share up 9.3 per cent from the 2019 General Election.

The Tories saw their vote share plummet by 11.7 per cent, picking up just 15.9 per cent of the vote, fewer than 3,000 votes, but still comfortably ahead of the third placed Green Party, Lib Dems in fourth, and five other candidates.

Andrew Western, leader of Trafford Council, was Labour’s pick for the seat, and will now head to the House of Commons.