Elmbridge Conservatives scraped a narrow victory to hold on to the Hersham North seat in last night’s by-election.

Councillor Simon Desborough receieved 463 votes, beating independent Hersham Village Society candidate Roy Green by only 10 votes.

Labour candidate Peter Jepson came third with 135 votes.

The by-election was called after previous Tory councillor Doug Packer stepped down from the role in September due to work commitments.

Turn-out was low, with only 23 per cent of the electorate casting their votes, compared to 66.1 per cent at the local elections in May this year.

Meanwhile, at the other by-election in the St George’s Hill ward, the St. George’s Hill Independent candidate Peter Harman held the seat for the party with 515 votes.

Conservative candidate Melissa Lake, daughter of Elmbridge councillor Rachel Lake and Surrey County Councillor Ian Lake, came second with 412 votes.

The Labour candidate Robert Evan received just 36 votes, in an election with an even worse turnout.

Only 20 per cent of the electorate voted, compared to 67.5 per cent last time around.

Councillor Peter Harman returns to the council five months after being voted out from his previous seat on the ward in May.

Voters were asked to choose a new representative following the death of councillor John Bartlett, who died of cancer in August.