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State of the Locals on Friday morning

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Image by John Mounsey from Pixabay

Here’s your morning round-up from the LGIU team with what you need to know from the local election results thus far.

London

This has been a story a long time coming. For several election cycles the predicted fall of Wandsworth, Westminster and Barnet from Conservative control has failed to appear, until now.

East Midlands

Not much change here – which might be a story itself – the Conservatives will be pleased to have retained Amber Valley which has historically changed control often and Labour didn’t do quite enough to take Derby which remains NOC.

East of England

Little change in the councils counting overnight, with no councils changing hands thus far including some that changed on a fine balance at the last elections.

North East

Very little was expected to change and indeed nothing has. Hartlepool which was run by a Conservative-Independent coalition remains ‘No Overall Control’.

North West

Cumberland Council held its first ever election yesterday for a shadow council that will come into full power as a Labour administration when the council is constituted next year.

South East

The politically diverse South coast has seen a change of hands at Southampton Council, with Labour taking control from the Conservatives.

West Oxfordshire has slipped from Conservative control and is now “No Overall Control”

South West

The big news of the night is a local referendum on governance. Bristolians have voted by a fairly clear margin to get rid of their executive mayor system. This means that Mayor Marvin Rees will finish out his term as the last mayor of Bristol in 2024.

West Midlands 

The Conservatives lost control of Worcester but held Dudley, albeit with the loss of a couple of seats. Still plenty of action to come here.

Yorkshire and Humber

Hull goes Liberal Democrat: In perhaps the biggest upset of the wee early hours, the LibDems have taken control from Labour.

 

LGIU elections resources

Stay with us as further results continue to come in and follow us @LGIU for our ongoing coverage. This is all part of our one-stop shop for essential elections support, resources and commentary.

If you’ve just been elected, LGIU’s resources for new councillors has everything you need to hit the ground running.

Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive, Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) said: 

“With around half of councils now declared, the most dramatic results so far have been in London with Labour taking control of Barnet, Wandsworth and Westminster councils. This has huge symbolic value and losing all three of these councils in a single election will be a big blow to Conservative morale.

At the same time, it’s part of a longer term trend in which Labour has tightened its grip on inner London. Over the last decade, we have seen an increasing polarisation with the Labour vote concentrated in large cities and university towns and Conservative support spread across the rest of the country. In that respect, Conservative losses in Southampton or West Oxfordshire might be more telling indicators.

However, we shouldn’t forget that in those key battlegrounds, local issues are always crucial factors. Housing, financial prudence and low traffic neighbourhoods were all hugely contentious in Wandsworth for example.

These are elections for the councils that run places, not just opinion polls on central government.

And, as we expected, the number of councils changing hands is relatively limited. The Conservatives have lost just over a hundred council seats but gains have been split between Labour, Lib Dems and Greens.

So far then, a bad night for the Conservatives is not yet translating into a great night for anyone else.”

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