Hits and misses. Which targets in the local elections were achieved?

All the results from the local elections are in. Amidst the drama and recriminations, how did each political party perform? Last week I offered a list of targets for each political party that it would be reasonable for them to achieve, if claiming a successful outcome. Below I revisit the lists, noting the results.

Conservative targets

  • Amber Valley. (Gain from Labour.) Achieved.
  • Basildon. (Gain from No Overall Control.) Achieved.
  • Basingstoke and Deane. (Gain from No Overall Control.) Achieved.
  • Cannock Chase. (Gain from No Overall Control.) Achieved.
  • Cheshire, Derbyshire, and Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioners.  (All would be gains from Labour.) All three achieved.
  • Colchester. (Gain from No Overall Control.) Missed. 
  • Cornwall. (Gain from No Overall Control.) Achieved.
  • Crawley. (Gain from No Overall Control.) Missed. 
  • Dudley. (Gain from No Overall Control.) Achieved.
  • Gloucester. (Gain from No Overall Control.) Achieved.
  • Milton Keynes. (Gain from No Overall Control.) Missed. 
  • Mole Valley. (Gaining enough seats from the Lib Dems for it to fall under No Overall Control.) Missed. 
  • Rossendale. (Gaining enough seats from Labour for it to fall under No Overall Control.) Achieved.
  • Stroud. (Gain from No Overall Control.) Missed. 
  • West Yorkshire Mayoralty. (A newly created post. Victory would be impressive – but not impossible.) Missed. 
  • Walsall. (Hold with an increased majority.) Achieved.

I had also mentioned that Rotherham, Sandwell, and Sheffield had no Conservative councillors at all. So gaining some representation here, while perhaps not a “key target”, would be of symbolic importance. This was achieved – most emphatically in Rotherham which now has 20 Conservative councillors. There were also several gains I had not included. Among councils, the Conservative gained Northumberland, Nuneaton & Bedworth, Harlow, Southampton, Welwyn Hatfield, Maidstone, Nottinghamshire, Pendle and Worcester. There were only three losses among councils – Cambridgeshire, Tunbridge Wells, and the Isle of Wight. Losing the Mayoralties of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough and the West of England to Labour were setbacks.

Among the PCCs, we had Conservative gains in Adur and Somerset, Cleveland, Nottinghamshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Lancashire and Humberside. Those were in addition to the three targets I listed. Some pretty extraordinary results.

Labour targets

  • Adur. (Gaining enough seats from the Conservatives for the Council to fall under No Overall Control.) Missed.
  • Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner. (Gaining from an independent.) Missed.
  • Burnley. (Gain from No Overall Control.) Missed.
  • Derbyshire. (Gaining from the Conservatives.) Missed.
  • Teesside Mayoralty. (Gaining from the Conservatives.) Missed.
  • West Midlands Mayoralty. (Gaining from the Conservatives.) Missed.
  • Wirral. (Gain from No Overall Control.) Missed.
  • Worcester. (Gain from No Overall Control.) Missed.

Labour did gain the two Mayoralties noted above. But of the 143 local authorities in England with elections, they did not gain a single council. The traffic was all the other way. Among the 39 Police and Crime Commissioner elections, they only gained North Wales (from Plaid Cymru).

Lib Dem targets

  • Colchester. (Becoming the largest party – which would mean winning seats from the Conservatives and Labour) Missed.
  • Cornwall. (Becoming the largest party). Missed.
  • Gosport (Gaining enough seats from the Conservatives for the Council to fall under No Overall Control.) Missed.
  • Hull. (Winning enough seats from Labour for it to fall under No Overall Control.) Missed.
  • Sheffield. (Ditto.) Achieved. (When combined with the Green Party and Conservative gains.)

As noted above, Cornwall Council was actually gained by the Conservatives. The Lib Dems lost seats there. Across the whole of England, the Lib Dems ended up just seven councillors ahead. The independents and assorted residents groups did better than that. Yet the last time we had local elections – in 2019 – the headlines were all about Lib Dem triumphs and they gained over 700 seats.

Green Party targets

  • Bristol. (Winning enough seats from Labour for the Council to fall under No Overall Control.) Achieved.
  • Norwich. (The Green Party is already the main opposition. Further gains would be important for them.) Missed.
  • Sheffield. (Winning enough seats from Labour for it to fall under No Overall Control.) Achieved. (When combined with the Lib Dem and Conservative gains.)
  • Stroud.  (The Green Party are already in coalition with Labour and the Lib Dems. Could they become the largest party?) Missed.

Slightly disappointing results for the Green Party. They gained 81 councillors – which meant they more than doubled their total to 151 among the seats up for election last week. But that still leaves them well behind the Lib Dems – on 586. Let alone Labour – down 326 on 1,345. Or the Conservatives – up 235 on 2,345. It means my inclusion of the Greens as a “main party” is still rather generous.

 

Click this link for the original source of this article.
Author: Harry Phibbs


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