Southend West by-election: Tories hold Essex seat but turnout third lowest in history

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Voters in Southend West went to the polls on Thursday to decide who would replace the former Brexit-backing MP Sir David Amess.

Sir David Amess, who was killed in a terrorist attack aged 69 in October, was first elected as the local MP in 1997 and had previously served as the MP in the neighbouring seat of Basildon from 1983 until relocating to Southend.

Conservative candidate Anna Firth, 55, who wore a Southend United scarf on the campaign trail, received 12,792 votes to leave her on around 86 percent support.

However, the second-highest count was for spoiled ballots.

A total of 1,084 voters opted to spoil their ballots in a by-election where all the major opposition parties, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Green and Reform, refused to field candidates.

Turnout in Southend West was also particularly low, with just 24 percent of residents heading to the polling stations.

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