Labour wins election - by a straw
Published 06/05/2011 | 16:08
Outright control of Bury Council has been secured by the drawing of straws.
Three recounts failed to separate the Labour and Tory candidates in the ward of Ramsbottom as they posted the same number of votes.
Under electoral rules, the outcome went to straws, with Labour needing the victory to claim a one-seat majority in the previously hung council chamber.
Labour's Joanne Columbine was fortunate enough to draw the longest straw and gain an extra vote ahead of Conservative Robert Hodkinson in the count at the Castle Leisure Centre.
Bury Council said the final ward result meant Labour gained six seats at the election - three from the Tories and three from the Liberal Democrats.
The new council line-up is Labour 26 seats, Conservatives 20 and Lib Dems 5.
The borough's Labour leader Mike Connolly told the Manchester Evening News: "To win today, albeit with the drawing of straws, is just absolutely amazing. It's a testament to the work the Labour teams have done.
"We never expected to come here and get an absolute majority."