Labour keeps control of key councils

By Laura Sharman and Dan Peters | 05 May 2016

Labour has managed to keep control of more council seats than the Conservatives, according to the final results of the local elections 2016.

The results showed that while Labour lost more seats than any other opposition party for 30 years, the party did manage to keep control of key councils such as Liverpool and Newcastle.

Overall, Labour lost 18 council seats, compared to the Conservatives who are now down by 48 seats.

The Lib Dems gained 45 seats while UKIP made some ground by winning 25 seats.

Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of the LGiU think tank, said: ‘The results of the local elections show us very clearly that local government has come to the rescue for the national parties.

'The results could have been disastrous for both Labour and the Conservatives but it’s the leadership on local councils up and down this country, who have been weathering the storm.

‘Labour losses are fewer than many predicted and this is in no small part because people are delivering a verdict on Labour councils and not simply the national party. 

'By virtue of their duty to balance the books Labour councils have become more pragmatic in their approach to austerity and to public service reform.’

Marginal Bury MBC stayed with Labour while Nuneaton and Bedworth BC, where the MP is Conservative local government minister Marcus Jones, was also a Labour hold.

Labour retained Norwich, denting Green Party hopes of going from official opposition to ruling group, as well as keeping control of Reading BC, where a bad night for leader Jeremy Corbyn would have meant a different result.

Newcastle City Council leader Cllr Nick Forbes - the leader of the Local Government Association Labour group - held his Westgate seat by a massive majority as his authority stayed red, extinguishing hopes of a Lib Dem revival.

Although the Lib Dems did manage to hold on to Eastleigh BC, the party's Sue Derbyshire, leader of Stockport MBC, lost her seat, with Labour becoming the largest party but the council remaining in no overall control.

The Tories lost control of Worcester City Council with the authority falling into no overall control but gained Peterborough Council from it being no overall control.

Rugby BC, which was Conservative-controlled, now has 21 Tories, with the other parties taking the other 21 seats to put the council in no overall control.  

However, marginal Swindon Council remained Conservative.

In Liverpool, Joe Anderson was voted in to serve a second term as elected mayor, as expected.

And in the race to become mayor of Salford, Labour’s Paul Dennett secured 28,332 votes, beating second place Conservative councillor Robin Garrido who received 14,484 votes.

Polling day itself was marred by events in Barnet which were branded a ‘shambles’ after the council sent out the wrong electoral lists to all 155 of its polling stations.

The error meant that scores of people who did not have their polling card with them were unable to vote.

A statement from Barnet chief executive Andrew Travers, the returning officer, read: 'Taking part in the democratic process is a fundamental right for our residents and the main focus this morning was to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

'We will fully investigate the cause of the problems that have arisen.

'I would like to apologise to everyone who experienced problems with voting in Barnet today.'

Sophie Walker, the Women's Equality Party mayoral candidate, said: 'Women first got the vote 100 years ago and there are women today who have been unable to vote.

'We will be pursuing a complaint.'

Further reading: With voters having gone to the polls, Katie Ghose examines how devolution could be a game changer for local elections

comments powered by Disqus
Local democracy Local elections Scrutiny EU referendum