The Liberal Democrats retained their hold on the Hertfordshire County Council seat of Tudor and Meriden in yesterday’s by-election.

Kareen Hastrick, already a Lib Dem councillor for the area on Watford Borough Council, won with 1,231 votes.

The by-election was triggered after the previous Liberal Democrat incumbent, Audrey Oaten, stood down for personal reasons in March.

The result represented a slight reduction in the Lib Dem share of the vote in the division, down from 43 per cent to 40. However the party is still by far the dominant force in the area.

Labour came second with 791 votes, which meant their share of the ballot doubled from 12 per cent to 25 per cent.

The Conservatives were third with 534 votes, 17 per cent of the vote, down from 27 per cent.

The UK Independence Party, making its debut in the county elections in Watford, was fourth with 351 votes, an 11 per cent of the ballot. The Greens were last with 154 votes (5 per cent).

Following the count, Kareen Hastrick said: "We have strong teams in both Meriden and Tudor and I have been working with both of them so I felt quite positive. I am looking to acclimatise myself to the way things are done at county."