THE Conservatives have won their first by-election in the county for three years with Walter Sanger's victory in the battle to succeed the late Pam Lyne on Cornwall Council.
Mr Sanger received about 60 per cent of the ballot for the vacant St Keverne and Meneage seat, more votes than his three rivals put together.
He will represent the St Keverne, Manaccan, Mawgan, Gweek and St Martin parishes at County Hall, and described it as a very large area.
Mr Sanger added that he had "pretty big boots" to fill in taking over from Mrs Lyne, who died in June. She had been a county and then a Cornwall councillor for the area for more than 30 years.
"I thank all the people who voted for me and supported me and thought I could do the job," he said.
Mr Sanger served in the Royal Navy, including a posting to RNAS Culdrose, and with his wife Christine has lived in St Keverne for nearly 30 years, including several years running its Londis store.
The couple have two children, Andrew, who also lives in St Keverne, and Patricia, who lives in Redruth, and five grandchildren.
It's a return to the cut-and- thrust of local politics for Mr Sanger, previously a member and chairman of St Keverne Parish Council and Kerrier District Council, the last to hold that office before Kerrier was disbanded in 2009.
He said his focus in his new role would be on serving the people of the St Keverne and Meneage division.
Thursday's by-election saw a turnout of almost 30 per cent, and Mr Sanger received 585 votes. The other candidates were Nicholas David Driver (Liberal Democrats, 279 votes), Sandy Martin (UK Independence Party, 141) and Steven Frederick Richards (Labour, 52).