Further Overnight Blows For Labour As Conservatives Gain Control Of Key Councils In England
Early results see several councils switch from Labour to Conservative control (Alamy)
Early results from local elections across England see Labour lose control of several councils to the Conservatives after a difficult night for the party.
As of 9am on Friday morning, 15 councils had declared so far out of the total 143, with the Conservatives gaining overall control of six, of which three were gains from Labour.
Labour gained 138 seats in the first night of counting, but lost 47 seats to the Conservatives and other parties. The Conservatives stand just behind them with 132 seats.
The results are the latest in what has been a difficult night for the Labour party, after the parliamentary seat of Hartlepool was won by the Conservatives for the first time in its history.
The Tories gained seven new councillors in Harlow, Essex, which was enough for the party to gain a majority after nine years of Labour control.
Several councils in the Midlands have also seen major Labour losses. In Redditch, all of the nine seats up for grabs this year were won by the Tories, six of which were gains from Labour.
They now dominate the council with 25 seats to Labour’s 11, and even ousted the council’s leader in the final results of the night,
The Warwickshire borough of Nuneaton and Bedworth has gone blue for the first time since 2008, with the Tories up 11 and Labour down 10 seats. The council previously had no overall control.
Dudley also saw a landslide victory for the Tories, with the party gaining overall control by 8am despite nine seats still undeclared.
Derby remained under no overall control after Labour held five of their six seats. The Conservatives gained three extra seats to lift their total to 20 out of 51, but they are still six short of an overall majority.
The party remains in charge of the council, however, thanks to a “confidence and supply” arrangement with the Liberal Democrats and Reform Party.
In the North East, the Conservatives managed to gain control of Northumberland County Council, where they were short of a majority by just two seats.
The victory was close however, as two seats were declared a dead heat after their counts and had to be decided by ballot draws.