LABOUR candidate John Killick has won the Pontypool by-election to replace former councillor Fred Wildgust by just 17 votes.

The hotly contested election on Thursday, March 24 saw an unexpected 39.57 per cent turnout - with a total of 571 votes cast.

After the count, newly-elected Cllr John Killick said: "I'm very much aware of the responsibility on me because of the number of people that have come out to vote today that was far in excess of our expectations and shows the importance of how they feel about Pontypool.

"It's an important part of the borough that needs to be looked after properly and I'm well aware of the responsibility on me to do that."

During the count independent candidate Mike Harris called for a recount and came a close second.

Mr Harris said: "In 12 months I will do it all over again.

"I do see it as a success, it's only a temporary 12 month run and we will consult with the independent group to put less candidates forward to achieve a better result."

See next week's Free Press for a full interview with the winning candidate and further analysis of the election.