Conservatives make gains in local elections

5 May 17

The Conservatives have made gains in the local elections while Ukip, Labour and Liberal Democrats suffered a “bad night”.

As the results come in for Thursday’s vote in which a total of 4,851 council seats were up for grabs in 88 councils - all of those in Scotland and Wales and 34 in England, it appears Theresa May’s party has done well - as predicted in PF's analysis last week.

Speaking earlier this morning, Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) said a “pretty clear picture” of Tory success was emerging.

“The Conservatives are tightening what was already a very firm grip on shire England, taking majority control of counties such as Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire. Labour, the Liberal Democrats and, especially, UKIP have all had bad nights,” he said.

Thus far the Conservatives have 570 seats, gaining 163, Labour has 410 seats, losing 127, Independents have 204 seats, gaining 21, The Lib Dems have 147 seats, losing 28, Plaid Cymru have 50 seats, gaining 8, The Greens have 11 seats, gaining 6, Ukip have lost 41 seats and have not held any.

However, Labour have held onto the mayoral seat in Doncaster where Ros Jones won more than half the vote.

The Conservative candidate for the new metro mayor post for the West of England, Tim Bowles, beat Labour's Lesley Mansell by 51.6% to 48.4%.


LGiU reports the mayoral election turnout was:
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough – 33.57%
Greater Manchester – 28.93%
Liverpool City Region – unknown
Tees Valley – 21.31%
West of England – 29.72%
West Midlands – unknown
Doncaster – 29.35%
North Tyneside – unknown


Labour's shadow home secretary Diane Abbott told Sky News: 

“These are disappointing results, challenging results, but as you’ve said most of the results have yet to come out, in particular the big city mayors. I think Birmingham is important and we believe that we can win the Birmingham mayoralty.

“I think part of the problem is the Ukip vote has collapsed, as we see, and at this point at least it’s gone to the Tories. I think that’s one of the pivotal factors in this set of results. But as I say, we have to wait and see the full picture.

“I think all the mayoral elections are the key. We’ll be looking at turnout, because obviously in a general election you have a bigger turnout which can change the shape of these results. But of course you cannot extrapolate from the local elections to the general. I’m not pretending these aren’t disappointing results, but they certainly don’t mean that the general election is done and dusted for Theresa May.”


As it appears Ukip's vote has evaporated - failing to hold any of its seats so far, the former Ukip MEP (now independent) Steven Woolfe tells the BBC that Ukip's new policies are to blame for the poor results.

He said: "The darker forces within Ukip have managed to rise, and that just what won't work in the UK."


Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall releases statement following “difficult night” in local elections, claiming the were victims of their own success.

He said: “In the local elections yesterday many excellent UKIP representatives lost their seats on county councils despite campaigning hard for re-election.
“Frankly, there is nothing they could have done in the face of a big national swing to the Tories.”

He added that Ukip had been successful in driving the Conservatives to embrace the Brexit cause. He said many of the natural Tory territories had gone back to the Conservatives.

Nutall added: “If the price of Britain leaving the EU is a Tory advance after taking up this patriotic cause then it is a price UKIP is prepared to pay.
“UKIP's decision to target our general election effort in a group of seats where we are very strong on the ground is clearly the right one and we remain excited by our prospects in the best of these.”


The Press Association has reported that the Conservatives lost the opportunity to take control of Northumberland County Council after two candidates who tied following recounts were forced to draw straws.

The Conservatives replaced Labour as the largest group, but after two recounts, the South Blyth ward was tied.

The returning officer was then forced to decide the election by the drawing of straws, with the Liberal Democrat candidate Lesley Rickerby picking the right one to defeat Tory Daniel Carr.

Rickerby told PA the experience “very traumatic”.


As results come in from Glasgow it has been reported by the BBC that Labour has lost overall control of the city council for the first time in 40 years.

The Scottish Conservatives have gained in some of the city's most deprived areas.


Latest numbers on overall seats won shows the following:

Conservatives have won 688 seats - up 198, securing 10 councils - up five.

Labour  have won 496 seats - down 143, securing five councils - down three

Liberal Democrats have won 183 seats - down 24, no councils won as yet

Ukip have thus far failed to retain any of their seats - losing 57

SNP have won 9 seats - up 1

Greens have won 13 seats - up 8

Plaid Cymru have won 77 seats - up 19


Labour's deputy leader has released a statement commiserating Labour councillors who are now out of a job, as the party suffered in the local elections.

Tom Watson said: "I want to pay tribute to all our councillors, particularly those who lost their seats last night or this morning, and thank them on behalf of the Labour party for all their hard work.

"They are the glue that holds the Labour party together. They are the ones who pound the streets, week in week out, communicating the Labour message.

"They are at the forefront of the fight against austerity at council chambers across the country.

"I have nothing but respect and admiration for each and every one of them and I want to thank them for their contribution to our movement."


Douglas Carswell said: “There are a lot of good people in Ukip and I don’t want to say anything kind but we all know its over, lets be frank I would be surprised if Ukip managed to field more than 100 candidates in the general election.

Carswell said Ukip supporters have realised the “only way to make sure we get the deal we now need to get is to make sure Theresa May has a mega mandate on June the 8th”.

The comments from Ukips only former MP come as Peter Kellner, the elections expert and former YouGov president, told the BBC that the latest figures suggest that the Conservatives are on course for their best result in local elections while they are in government since 1979. He said they could be doing even better than the Tories did during the local elections held at the time of the Falklands war.

Ukip have won a seat, taking the Padiham and Burnley West ward in Lancashire from Labour.


Professor Michael Thrasher of Plymouth University has told the BBC that the results don't look good for Tim Farron and the Liberal Democrats.

Professor Michael Thrasher of Plymouth University thinks the results bode especially badly for the Lib Dems:

He said: “For me one of the most important aspects of the election is the failure of the Liberal Democrats, this so-called recovery from the 15 general election, although their vote share is increasing they’re simply not making the kind of inroads we expected.

“They lost seats in Somerset and normally you wouldn’t associate that with the Liberal Democrats, The Liberal Democrats aren’t doing well in Wales, they’re losing seats in Cardiff, an area where they were once quite strong, so they’re going to have to start pointing to more than, say, Cambridge as an example of where they are actually putting on votes in sufficient numbers that they will actually gain seats in the Westminster election in just a month’s time.”


The Conservatives have taken control of Derbyshire County Council from Labour.

Early results in the Tees Valley mayoralty show the following first preferences:

Conservative: 39.4%

Labour: 39.0%

Lib Dem: 12.3%

Ukip: 9.3%


Latest figures in from the BBC:

Conservatives have won 999 seats - up 202, securing 12 councils - up six.

Labour  have won 607 seats - down 202, securing five councils - down three

Liberal Democrats have won 232 seats - down 34, no councils won as yet

Ukip have won one seat - down 78

Greens have won 17 seats - up 5

Plaid Cymru have won 133 seats - up 29


Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) said: “The Conservatives now have a comprehensive grip on shire England, taking Derbyshire from Labour and taking majority control of counties such as Northumberland, Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire. 

“Labour look like they will be all but wiped out in the counties. UKIP already have been.

“Labour will now be pinning their hopes on the new Combined Authority areas that are electing Metro Mayors for first time, though the West Midlands looks desperately close and the Conservatives have already won the West of England. 

“The big question mark hanging over the mayoral elections has been whether turnout will big enough to give the new mayors the mandate and legitimacy they need to hit the ground running and to act as an effective political counterweight to Whitehall.”

Carr-West said the turnout of about 30% for the county council elections was about average for local elections, far higher than the poor turnout seen for the first Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

He added: “The new Metro Mayors will be local government leaders working with other leaders, often heading cabinets of council leaders: this level of turnout will mean they can do this with the same level of mandate as the rest of local government.”


First round of West Midlands mayoral elections are in:

Conservatives: 216,253 (42%)

Labour: 210,259 (41%)

Lib Dems: 30,378 (6%)

UKIP: 29,051 (6%)

Greens: 24,260 (5%)


Conservative Ben Houchen wins the Tees Valley Mayoral election after a run-off against Labour rival Sue Jeffrey.

Tories also hold Devon Council after taking control of Derbyshire County Council and Lancashire County Council, the later had been under no overall control with Labour as the largest party.


Labour's Steve Rotheram becomes the first Liverpool City region metro mayor with huge majority but turnout was just 25%.

The former MP won 171,167 votes, putting him well ahead of second-place Conservative Tony Caldeira's 58,805.

In his victory speech, he pledged to fight the North-South divide.

He told the audience: "The vast majority of people in our area have sent a very clear message to Theresa May.

"They have voted loud and clear in favour of a Labour metro mayor. They have voted in favour of a bold manifesto, a fresh start."

He continued: "Politics is in a state of flux. Ending the resource dominance of the south is even more important due to Article 50 being triggered."


Turnout figures from LGiU for the mayoral elections are as follows:

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough - 33.57%

Greater Manchester - 28.93%

Liverpool City Region - 26.10%

Tees Valley - 21.31%

West of England - 29.72%

West Midlands - 26.68%

Doncaster -29.35%

North Tyneside - 34.25%


Latest BBC figures for seats won are:

Conservatives have won 1,649 seats - up 465, securing 26 councils - up 11.

Labour  have won 866 seats - down 299, securing six councils - down five

Liberal Democrats have won 376 seats - down 38, no councils won as yet

Ukip have won one seat - down 108

Greens have won 23 seats - up 2

Plaid Cymru have won 153 seats - up 33


Labour's Andy Burnham is the new metro mayor of Greater Manchester. He won more than 50% of the vote in the first round of counting.

Nick Forbes, Labour's leader in the Local Government Assosication said he was "absolutely delighted" that Burnham had won, calling it a "hugely important win for Labour".


The LGiU report that the first count complete has been completed for the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough mayoral election – James Palmer (Con) & Rod Cantrill (Lib Dem) will go through to the second round.


Liberal Democrat leader said he believes based on today's results in the local elections his party could pick up nine seats in the general election.

Speaking in St Albans today, he said the party had increased its vote share nationally by 7% "our best vote share in any election nationally for seven years".

Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party in England and Wales, says the party has gained "on a tough night for progressive politics".

He claims: "We're showing that we truly are a national party."

Meanwhile prime minister Theresa May said despite the strong election results for the Tories she is "not taking anything for granted" as she urges supporters not be complacent in the upcoming general election.

Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell told ITV that "opinion poll after opinion poll" shows Labour are winning the argument. When pressed that they had lost "swathes" of seats he said they had lost seats from an "all-time high" in 2012. He added: "Opinion polls and commentators predicted we would be wiped out, we haven't, we have held our own."


The Tories have won the West Midlands mayoralty with Andy Street picking up 238,628 votes while Labour's Sion Simon won 234,862 votes.

In his victory speech he thanked his team. And he says when he launched his campaign, he wanted it to reach every community in the West Midland. He wanted to be “moderate, tolerant and inclusive”. And he wanted to propose practical solutions.

He says he hopes his victory represents the birth of a new, Tory urban agenda.

As of 16.40pm these were the local elections results:

Conservatives have won 1,856 seats - up 541, securing 28 councils - up 11.

Labour  have won 1,087 seats - down 366, securing eight councils - down six

Liberal Democrats have won 432 seats - down 36,

Ukip have won one seat - down 140

Greens have won 33 seats - up 3

SNP have won 383 seats - down 14 and lost control of one council

Plaid Cymru have won 202 seats - up 33 and gained control of one council


Jeremy Corbyn has spoken to supporters in Liverpool this afternoon after what he described as a "disappointing" set of results in the local elections.

He said: "We’ve had some difficult results overnight. Some have been very good. We’ve gained seats in some places, we’ve held councils that many predicted we wouldn’t.

"And others, unfortunately, have not been elected. I want to use this opportunity thank every Labour candidate and every party worker and supporter for the incredible effort they’ve put in in the past few weeks in this election.

"We’ve now got four weeks until the general election. Four weeks to get a message out there.

"Pensioners do not have to live in fear of their pensions being cut in the future because the government will not protect the triple lock. People don’t have to be living on appalling wages, through zero-hours contracts or minimum wage only, 6m earning less then the living wage.

"Labour will change all of that. And Labour will invest in a growing economy, an economy that works for all."


A full analysis of the results will be published on Monday.

Monday 8 May

The Conservatives have stormed to an impressive victory in the local elections, making the biggest gains by a governing party in a local election for more than 40 years.

With a month to go to the general election, they gained more than 500 seats and seized control of 11 extra councils.

The surge in Tory support came at the expense of Labour and Ukip, the later only retaining a single seat while the Lid Dems were unable to capitalise on the remainer vote to make much headway.

Polling expert John Curtice told the BBC he puts the Tories' national vote share at 38%, Labour 27%, Lib Dems 18% and UKIP 5%.

The final results were as follows:

Conservatives won 1,899 seats - up 563, securing 28 councils - up 11

Labour won 1,152 seats - down 382, securing nine councils - down seven

Lib Dems won 441 seats - down 42

Ukip won one seat - down 145

Plaid Cymru won 202 seats, up 33 and secured control of one council

Greens won 40 seats, up six

SNP won 431 seats - down seven, they lost control of one council

The Conservatives also had a good night on the metro mayor front, winning four of the six contests for the newly created posts.

Labour former cabinet minister Andy Burnham won Greater Manchester, with 63% of the vote and Steve Rotherham won for Labour in Liverpool.

In the West Midlands, Conservative Andy Street, a former John Lewis boss, beat former Labour MP Sion Simon.

Ben Houchen, won Tees Valley for the Conservatives, by defeating Labour's Sue Jeffrey.

The Conservatives also won in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough region with James Palmer and the West of England with Tim Bowles.

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