The Greens have won a county council seat for the first time and the Liberal Democrats crossed the line in three out of four district council by-elections.

Green Party candidate Judy Filmore took the Ulverston West county council seat from the Conservatives, beating Tory candidate Andrew Clifford Butcher by 885 votes to 869.

The seat had previously been occupied by James Airey until he stepped down.

Coun Filmore said: “It feels fabulous, this is a great result. I am the first green on Cumbria County Council ever. This is a historic moment.

“I just want to thank the Westmorland and Lonsdale Green Party. They have been phenomenal in helping. No mean feat. They have been brilliant.

“The residents have been amazing. They have said with excitement that they are voting for me. This has been really encouraging.

“People are ready for change. People are up alongside the green agenda.

“As a district councillor I have heard from residents in the last two years at district level and I feel I can help these issues as a county councillor.”

Labour councillor Mark Wilson, who kept his Ulverston East ward on the town council after a recount, thinks local elections will become more important to all of us “after a single unitary authority comes along”.

He made his comments when pointing out that most of the parish councils get re-elected unopposed. He said: “Once a single unitary is established then parish councils will have to have more say.

“It’s feckless at the moment to have parish councils being returned without elections needing to take place. Nobody is opposing them as happens a lot in Eden district.

“Today there are only two parish councils being contested here today – Ulverston along with Crosthwaite and Lyth. All the others have nobody standing against them. This will have to change under a single unitary and I for one hope it will be a ‘One Cumbria’ unitary.”

Councillor David Webster, who kept his Town ward seat and whose wife Sharon was re-elected for Ulverston East ward after a lengthy recount, said: “It’s all a bit c’est la vie after this morning’s elections in the Hartlepool by-election for Parliament.

“Ulverston has always been a split town, with half voting Tory and half Labour. It could have gone either way today. But then again there are a lot more Green candidates this time around and the Lib Dems traditionally don’t do well in Ulverston.”

Furness MP Simon Fell made his assessment of the local elections while visiting the count, saying: “What I’m hearing is people are more interested in potholes and the pandemic, as they have had more time to sit at home.”