THE widow of a popular Newport councillor will continue his legacy after winning a Newport by- election to serve in his former seat.

Carmel Townsend, 64, was nominated by the Welsh Liberal Democrats to represent the party at the St Julians by – election following the death of her husband, Ed Townsend, in May.

Last night the mother-of-six stormed to victory with 948 votes (53.7 per cent) and will serve as a St Julians councillor in Newport.

She was followed by Labour with 432 votes (24.4 per cent), UKIP with 156 (8.8 per cent), the Conservatives with 135 (7.6 per cent), Plaid Cymru with 71 (four per cent) and the Green Party with 25 (1.4 per cent).

Speaking at the event Ms Townsend said: “I have lived in St Julians for twenty five years. I care very much for our area and I am so grateful for the people who have put their trust in me.

“When Ed won by one vote Hugh Clark our oldest member said ‘The Flame of Liberalism still burns in the civic centre’ [...] The people of St Julians proved that today.”

Ms Townsend previously represented the ward as a councillor in 2008 and also worked behind the scenes when her late husband was re-elected as one of the ward’s three councillors in 2012.

Liberal Democrat spokesman for Newport East, Paul Halliday added: ““It has been a tough time for Liberal Democrats in Newport recently [...] But there are signs across Newport that people are listening again to our positive, local message.

“I am looking forward to getting to work with Carmel. I want us to build on our ideas and our record, to show Newport we can make big changes in the local council.”