The Liberal Democrats have comfortably won a by-election in Yeovil to consolidate their control on the district council.

Voters in the Brympton area of Yeovil – which includes Yeovil Town FC’s stadium at Huish Park – went to the polls on Thursday (July 14) to elect a replacement for Alan Smith, who passed away in early-April.

Five candidates put their names forward to replace him, with the Lib Dems being challenged by the Conservatives, Labour and the Green Party, as well as a local independent candidate.

But the Lib Dems’ Barbara Appleby ended up outscoring her nearest challenger by more than a two-to-one margin, giving her party all three Brympton seats and two-thirds of all seats on South Somerset District Council.

The full result of the by-election was as follows:

Barbara Appleby (Lib Dem) – 582

Tony Power (Conservative) – 251

Alan Flint (Green) – 71

Terry Ledlie (Labour) – 61

Ashley Richards (Independent) – 29

While the Lib Dems’ share of the vote increased by 4.5 per cent, the Tories’ share dropped by more than 11 per cent – meaning a swing to the Lib Dems of around eight per cent.

The turnout was 15.67 per cent – meaning less than one in six of those eligible to vote actually turned out at the polling stations.

Ms Appleby – who was nominated by the two existing ward councillors, Peter Seib and Jeny Snell – currently serves as the clerk of Yeovil Without Parish Council and is listed as a governor at Primrose Lane Primary School on Cunningham Road in the north-east of the town.

Her victory means the Lib Dems hold 40 of the 60 seats on the district council, with the Conservatives having 13, six being held by independents and one being held by the Green Party.