Voters could tip the balance of power next week as a by-election over one seat could determine the more dominant party.

The Conservatives have 24 seats on Elmbridge Borough Council, as do the Liberal Democrats and various residents’ associations combined.

The winner of the by-election for the Oxshott and Stoke d’Abernon ward next week will affect that balance, tipping one side to 25 seats.

The by-election was called after Tory councillor James Vickers resigned from the post in June. 

Three candidates are contesting the seat:

Dorothy Ford (Liberal Democrats)

David Lewis (Conservatives)

Nicholas Wood (UK Independence Party UKIP)

Dorothy Ford made claims this week that the by-election could have been avoided had the Conservatives acted sooner before residents went to the polls for Local Elections in May, 3 this year. 

She said: “It is a shame that a Conservative councillor suddenly chose to resign in June. This by-election costs taxpayers many thousands of pounds and it could have been avoided had the local Conservatives acted more swiftly in May or deferred the resignation until next spring.”

A spokesman for the Elmbridge Conservative Association said: “James Vickers resigned for personal reasons after 26 years of loyal service to his residents and the community. It is quite wrong for the Liberal Democrats to try and make his personal decision a political issue.”

There are two polling stations for this by-election and you will need to visit the polling station stated on your poll card.

The two polling stations are:

Oxshott Village Centre, 19 Holtwood Road, Oxshott, KT22 0QJ

Stoke d’Abernon Village Hall, Station Road, Stoke d’Abernon, KT11 3BN

They will be open between 7am and 10pm on Thursday July 12.