THE Liberal Democrats have comfortably held Wantage and Grove in a county council by-election.

Jane Hanna won the seat, vacated after the resignation of party colleague Zoe Patrick, with nearly 50 per cent of the vote.

The Wantage local founded a small health charity called SUDEP and was the first female Fellow of Oxford University's Keble College, where she taught for 20 years. She has also been a long-serving local councillor.

Oxford MP Layla Moran and losing Tory candidate Ben Mabbett congratulated Ms Hanna over Twitter after the result was announced in the early hours of this morning.

The Lib Dem vote share, of 47.9 per cent, was up 4.6 per cent, while the Conservatives took 36 per cent (up 0.7 per cent); Labour 11.4 per cent (down 2 per cent); the Greens 4.6 per cent (down 3.3 per cent).

15 of the total 4,016 votes were spoiled.