...By Henry George for TDPel Media.
Labour and Lib Dems Gain Strongholds as Tories Lose Control
The local election results on Friday showed significant gains for Labour and the Lib Dems, with the Tories losing over 1,000 councillors and key strongholds such as Swindon and Medway.
Labour has become the largest party in local government, gaining hundreds of seats. The Lib Dems said that they are exceeding all expectations in the capital’s commuter belt, but leader Sir Ed Davey would not confirm whether his party would seek to enter a coalition with Labour at the General Election.
Tories Lose Control of 45 Councils
The Tories lost control of 45 councils, whereas Labour gained 21 and the Lib Dems gained 11. The Greens took overall control of their first council, Mid Suffolk. As results are still coming in, Labour has gained more than 500 councillors, and the Lib Dems have gained over 400.
Election Analyst Predicts ‘Hammering’ for Tories
Election analyst Professor Michael Thrasher stated that the Tories were suffering a “hammering by any standard”. He added that the Conservatives had lost a third of their council seats, and if this trend continues, the party is likely to post a final tally that rivals the debacle of 1995.
New Voter ID Rules Result in Some People Being Turned Away
The contests were the first to be fought under new rules requiring voters to carry photographic ID. The elections watchdog regretted that some people were turned away from polling stations as a result.
Labour and Lib Dems Gain Hundreds of Seats
The Conservatives continued to make losses as 30 councils still remained to be declared. Out of the 230 councils that declared results, the Conservatives had lost 763 seats, with Labour gaining 510, the Lib Dems gaining 338, and the Greens gaining 173, with independents and residents/ratepayers down by more than 300.
Labour Wins Brighton and Hove, Lib Dems Win Surrey Heath
Labour has won Brighton & Hove from a minority Green administration in the city that has the only Green MP, whereas the Green Party has won control of Mid Suffolk council, making it the first council it has ever controlled outright. The Lib Dems have won control of Surrey Heath council, where Michael Gove serves as MP.
Labour Becomes Largest Party in Local Government
Labour is now the largest party in local government in England, with more councillors than the Conservatives for the first time since 2002.
However, Home Office Minister Chris Philp downplayed Labour’s performance, claiming that the party had not made a breakthrough in the local elections.