Local election results LIVE: Tories lose over 1,000 councillors as Labour becomes largest party in local Government
The Tories have lost more than 1,000 councillors and key strongholds such as Swindon and Medway, local election results on Friday showed, as Labour and the Lib Dems made significant gains.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the party is “going to bottle this feeling we have today” and “turn it into a General Election win next year”. Labour has become the largst party in local Government as it gained 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 be drawn on whether his party would seek to enter a coalition with Labour at the General Election.
With results still flooding in, the Tories had lost control of 48 councils, Labour gained 22 and the Lib Dems had gained 12. The Greens took overall control of their first council, Mid Suffolk. Labour has gained more than 500 councillors, and the Lib Dems more than 400.
Prime MinisterRishi Sunak said he was“disappointed” at losing some councillors but sought to highlight where his party was doing better.
Earlier, election analyst Professor Michael Thrashertold Sky News the Tories were suffering a “hammering by any standard”.
“The Conservatives have lost a third of their council seats so far – a hammering by any standard. If that trend continues the party is likely to post a final tally that rivals the debacle of 1995 that left them limping towards a massacre at the general election two years later”, he said.
The contests were the first to be fought under new rules requiring voters to carry photographic ID, and the elections watchdog said “regrettably” some people were turned away from polling stations as a result.
The key points as results come in
Rishi Sunak says losses are ‘disappointing
Windsor leader loses seat to 22-year-old Lib Dem
Labour claims it’s ‘on course’ to win general election
Key results so far in local elections
Labour becomes largest party in local government
Nearly all councils have now declared
20:46 , Josh Salisbury
Nearly all councils have now declared, with just four more left to do so.
With 226 councils declared of 230, it is clear that the Conservatives have taken a serious blow.
The party has lost more than 1,000 councils and lost control of 48 councils.
Labour has gained control of 22 councils, with more than 500 councillors.
Meanwhile the Lib Dems have gained 12 councils and more than 400 councillors.
Conservatives lose East Hampshire Council
20:24 , Josh Salisbury
Several other results which have come in the half-an-hour include:
- Conservatives lose East Hampshire Council, but no party has been able to gain an overall majority
- The Lib Dems have gained of Horsham Council
- Labour has gained South Derbyshire Council
Lib Dems: It’s our best result in decades
20:13 , Josh Salisbury
Sir Ed Davey has hailed the Liberal Democrats' “best result in decades" in the local elections.
The party leader said: "This has been an historic victory for the Liberal Democrats with our best result in decades.
“It's little wonder Rishi Sunak is running scared of a general election, because he knows the Liberal Democrats are set to take swathes of seats across the Conservative Party's former heartlands.
“The message from these elections is clear: people are fed up with being let down and taken for granted by this Conservative Government - it is time for a change. Voters have sent a political shockwave to dozens of Conservative MPs right across the blue wall. Our great country deserves so much better than this out-of-touch Prime Minister and his chaotic and careless Conservative Government."
The Lib Dems said they had taken control of 12 councils, the highest number the party has gained since 1995.
They pointed to gains of Tory councils including those in the backyards of former Tory chairman Nadhim Zahawi, senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove and former prime minister Theresa May.
Conservatives have now lost 1,000 councillors
19:24 , Josh Salisbury
The Conservatives have now lost 1,000 councillors in the local elections.
Meanwhile, Labour has gained more than 500 councillors, while the Lib Dems have gained more than 400.
Lib Dems gain two new councils
19:14 , Josh Salisbury
The Lib Dems have gained two control of two more councils, putting their tally at ten councils.
The party has taken West Berkshire Council from the Conservatives and South Oxfordshire from no overall control.
Liberal Democrats GAIN West Berkshire, gaining +13 councillors.
The Conservatives have lost control of the Council. pic.twitter.com/6Ygqut9HzS
— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) May 5, 2023
Conservatives continue to make losses with 30 councils still to declare
19:03 , Josh Salisbury
As of 200 out of 230 councils declaring, the Conservatives had lost 763 seats, with Labour gaining 510, the Lib Dems gaining 338 and Greens 173, with independents and residents/ratepayers down by more than 300.
The Conservatives had lost 41 councils, with Labour gaining 19, the Lib Dems gaining nine and the Greens gaining one.
Labour win Brighton and Hove from minority greens
18:38 , Josh Salisbury
Labour have won Brighton & Hove from a minority Green administration in the city that has the only Green MP.
With 13 results to be counted, Labour had won 28 seats, on the 54 seat council, with the Greens only on four.
Former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas has represented Brighton Pavilion as an MP since 2010.
However, the Green Party has won control of Mid Suffolk council, making it the first council it has ever controlled outright.
Lib Dems win Michael Gove’s council
18:30 , Josh Salisbury
Lib Dems win Surrey Heath council, where Michael Gove serves as MP.
“This is the Michael Portillo moment of these local elections. Senior Conservative cabinet ministers are now looking nervously over their shoulders at the Lib Dems," a party spokesperson said.
The party won control of the council from no overall control.
Meanwhile, Labour have won Cheshire West & Chester from no overall control.
Labour becomes largest party in local government
18:08 , Matt Watts
Labour is now the largest party in local government in England, with more councillors than the Conservatives for the first time 2002.
But Conservatives have sought to downplay Labour’s perfomance, with Home Office minister Chris Philp claiming Labour “not made the breakthrough” in the local elections.
He told BBC Radio 4's PM programme: “Midterm elections for a Government that's been in office for quite a while are difficult. I mean, even Tony Blair had difficult midterm elections in 2000 and in 2004. He was significantly behind the Conservatives then, and yet went on to win the subsequent general elections.
“And it's interesting that the Labour projected national share of the vote is only around about 8 or 9% ahead of us. That's about where Ed Miliband was in 2012.
“So these are disappointing results... But Labour have not made the breakthrough.”
Labour gain control of York council
17:57 , Josh Salisbury
Labour has taken overall control of York council, winning 24 of the 47 seats in a city which has a Tory and a Labour MP.
Rishi Sunak visited early in the campaign to try to boost his party, which gained one seat to Labour’s seven, with the Greens losing three and the Lib Dems losing two.
The new council is Labour 24, Lib Dems 19, Conservatives three and independent one.
Conservatives have lost nearly 40 councils with more results to declare
17:45 , Josh Salisbury
With results declared in 180 out of 230 councils, the picture points to a disappointing set of results for the Tories while both Labour and the Lib Dems making gains.
The Conservatives had lost 674 seats, and could yet lose as many as 1,000 or more. Labour have gained 437 councillors, while the Lib Dems gained 281 and the Greens 149.
The Conservatives have lost control of 38 councils, with Labour gaining 16, the Lib Dems gaining seven and the Greens gaining one.
While Labour is championing the result as proof the party is on course for a majority at the next General Election, a projection by the BBC states that Labour have a nine-point lead over the Conservatives based on today's results, if all of Britain voted.
It is not clear whether that would be enough for an outright majority.
Conservatives lose control of three more councils
17:29 , Josh Salisbury
A few Conservative losses have been announced in the last few minutes.
The Tories have lost control of Newark and Sherwood district council, in Nottinghamshire to no overall control, as well as Great Yarmouth to no overall control.
The Conservatives have also lost Broadland Council, in Norfolk, but no party has an overall majority.
However, the party has won Wyre Forest Council, which was previously a hung council.
Key results so far in local elections
17:21 , Matt Watts
Counting is continuing in the 230 local authorities in England - here are some of the key results so far, with 181 councils declared so far:
- Swindon (Lab gain from Con)
- Dacorum (Lib Dem gain from Con)
- East Staffordshire (Lab gain from Con)
- Medway (Lab gain from Con)
- Bracknell Forest (Lab gain from Con)
- East Hertfordshire (Con lose to no overall control)
- Windsor & Maidenhead (Lib Dem gain from Con)
- North West Leicestershire (Con lose to no overall control)
- Stoke-on-Trent (Lab gain from no overall control)
- Slough (Lab lose to no overall control)
- West Oxfordshire (no overall control)
- Stratford-on-Avon (Lib Dem gain from Con)
- Plymouth (Lab gain from no overall control)
- Maidstone (Con lose to no overall control)
- Bolton (no overall control)
- Forest of Dean (Independents lose to no overall control)
- Hertsmere (Con lose to no overall control)
- Worcester (no overall control)
Labour expects to win Thanet in Kent
17:16 , Josh Salisbury
Labour is briefing that it expects to win Thanet Council in Kent from minority Conservative control.
Labour's parliamentary candidate for South Thanet, Polly Billington, said it was “looking good”.
If this proves correct, it would be another win for Labour in traditionally blue Kent, with the party already taking control of Dover, Gravesham and Medway councils.
As of 5.15pm, Labour were on 20 seats to the Tories’ ten seats on the council, with the Green Party on five, Thanet Independents three, and Independents on one seat.
Labour’s Leicester mayor wins re-election
17:04 , Josh Salisbury
In some areas of the country, alongside councils, some mayoralties were also being voted for.
Labour's Sir Peter Soulsby has been re-elected as Leicester’s mayor but with a much reduced majority after a 17% swing to the Conservatives.
Sir Peter won with 35,002 votes, just over 39%, with Conservative Sanjay Modhwadia on 26,422 and Liberal Democrat Parmjit Singh Gill on 9,674.
It meant Sir Peter's majority was reduced from 36,925 in 2019 to 8,580.
Labour take Gravesham council
16:48 , Josh Salisbury
Labour have taken control of Gravesham council in Gravesend, Kent from no overall control.
It is the latest of good results for the party in Kent, with Labour also taking control of Medway and Dover councils, too.
It could prompt worry among local Conservatives, with the 2019 General Election result returning a Tory MP, Adam Holloway, with a majority of around 15,000.
Labour: ‘We are in majority government territory after Dover result'
16:43 , Josh Salisbury
Speaking at the count in Dover, Labour’s National Campaigns Co-ordinator Shabana Mahmood has hailed it as a “fantastic” result.
Labour took control of the Kent council, which had been held by the Tories since 2007, which is being described as a significant blow to the Conservatives.
“These are local elections, but these are a fantastic set of results for us, particuarly here in Dover,” said Ms Mahmood. “We are in absolute bellweather territory, these are the areas that decide who gets to be the Government of our country.
“And we are on course for a majority Labour government at the next election.”
Labour GAIN Dover from the Tories 🌹 pic.twitter.com/9JEkCtzcwx
— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) May 5, 2023
Labour confident of winning South Ribble, a council they havent controlled in almost 25 years
16:41 , Matt Watts
Labour sources are confident they will gain South Ribble from no overall control later this evening, The town hall was last held by the party in 1999 and is a key general election battleground in Lancashire.
Labour gain Broxtowe from Tories
16:35 , Josh Salisbury
Labour has taken Broxtowe Borough Council, in Nottinghamshire, from the Conservatives.
They gained 12 seats to take their total to 26 seats, while the Tories lost 10 seats, taking their total to the same number.
The Liberal Democrats lost two seats, taking their total to five, while three seats remained independent.
Conservatives lose East Hertfordshire
16:12 , Matt Watts
Results are still coming in thick and fast with 138 of 230 councils now declared.
Among the note-worthy results is that the Conservatives have lost control of East Hertfordshire.
The Greens are now the largest party, after they gained 18 seats and the Tories lost 27.
Labour win Dover
16:04 , Josh Salisbury
Labour has won Dover, a Kent council the Tories have controlled since 2007, writes Rachael Burford.
Labour gained six seats, while Tories lost six seats.
Tories gain Torbay council
15:58 , Josh Salisbury
In a rare spot of good news for the Conservatives, the party has gained Torbay council from no overall control after gaining five seats.
The Lib Dems gained three seats and independents lost eight seats.
The new council is Conservative 19, Lib Dem 15 and independent two.
Labour take High Peak, Bracknell Forest and Middlesborough councils
15:53 , Josh Salisbury
Labour have taken High Peak council from no overall control after gaining eight seats in the Derbyshire council, with the Conservatives losing six.
The new council is Labour 29, Conservative 10, Green two, Lib Dem one, independent one.
The party has also taken Bracknell Forest council from the Conservatives, and Middlesborough from no overall control.
Lib Dems gain South Hams council from Tories
15:47 , Josh Salisbury
The Lib Dems have gained controlled of South Hams from the Conservatives, after gaining nine seats in the Devon council.
The new councils has 19 Lib Dems, seven Conservatives, three Greens and one independent, after the Conservatives lost nine seats.
The party has also held its control of Chelmsford, Eastbourne and Winchester councils.
Green Party win outright control of first council
15:40 , Josh Salisbury
Results are now coming in thick and fast.
Among the results recently announced is that the Green Party has won control of Mid Suffolk, winning 18 of the council's 34 seats, with eight more results to be declared.
It is the first council they have controlled outright.
However, they have previously been running a minority administration on Brighton and Hove City Council.
Labour would have nine-point lead over Tories - projection
15:39 , Josh Salisbury
Labour would have a nine-point lead over the Conservatives if the results of the local election were replicated nationally, according to a BBC projection.
The broadcaster said that if all of Britain had gone to the polls Labour would have a vote share of 35%, with the Conservatives on 26%.
The Liberal Democrats would be on 20%, with others making up 19%.
Labour loses control of Slough
15:19 , Miriam Burrell
Labour has lost control of Slough, where the Conservatives have become the biggest party, with 21 of the 42 seats.
Labour lost 17 seats, with the Conservatives gaining 16 in the Berkshire council.
Tories lose control of 19 councils, Labour gain six
15:03 , Miriam Burrell
Labour has taken the Tory council leader seat in both Thanet and Canterbury.
The Tories have lost control of 19 councils, while Labour have taken control of six and the Lib Dems have taken control of three.
Labour wins Erewash from Tories
14:46 , Miriam Burrell
Labour have taken control of Erewash Council in Derbyshire from the Conservatives.
Polling expert Prof Michael Thrasher said Labour is on course to be the largest party at the next General Election, but will not get an overall Commons majority, according to results so far in local elections.
Lib Dems win Stratford-on-Avon
14:20 , Miriam Burrell
Lib Dems win Stratford-on-Avon in an apparent backlash against local MP Nadhim Zahawi who was forced to resign from Government over a tax row.
The Conservatives lost seven seats, leaving the new council comprising of Lib Dems 25, Conservatives 12, Green three and one independent.
🔶💪Liberal Democrats GAIN Stratford on Avon from the Conservatives pic.twitter.com/NbJvdnyQmd
— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) May 5, 2023
Labour wins Blackpool from no overall control
14:17 , Miriam Burrell
Labour has won in Blackpool, where it was previously no overall control.
🌹Blackpool Labour have taken back overall control of Blackpool Council making 8 gains🌹
A huge thank you to everyone who voted Labour yesterday. #LabourGain pic.twitter.com/meL7Gca1xX
— Chris Webb (@ChrisPWebb) May 5, 2023
Lib Dems take control of Dacorum
14:14 , Miriam Burrell
The Liberal Democrats took control of their key target council Dacorum, where party leader Sir Ed Davey launched their campaign by driving a yellow tractor through a “blue wall” of painted hay bales.
The party chalked up the seven gains they needed to take control of the Hertfordshire council, where before polling day the Conservatives had 31 of the 51 seats.
Cannock Chase switches to no overall control
14:04 , Miriam Burrell
In a flurry of results coming in this afternoon, the Tories have lost control of Cannock Chase.
However, the party holds on to control at East Cambridgeshire.
Meanwhile Kirkless, North Tyneside, Leeds and Norwich all remain held by Labour.
Labour wins Swindon from Tories
13:46 , Miriam Burrell
Labour has gained Swindon, meaning the Tories have lost control for the first time in almost 20 years.
Labour GAIN Swindon from the Tories 🌹 pic.twitter.com/lboSVhrWpl
— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) May 5, 2023
Tories lose Maidstone to no overall control
13:43 , Miriam Burrell
The Tories have lost control of Maidstone to no overall control, meanwhile Tunbridge Wells stays as no overall control.
“It is clear we’re paying the price for the end of the Boris and Liz Truss era,” says senior Tory MP David Davis.
The ex-Brexit Secretary added: “I think Rishi Sunak is doing a great job and getting a grip, but it will take time for us to get back from that.”
Pictured: Sir Keir Starmer speaks to supporters
13:35 , Miriam Burrell
Sir Keir Starmer: ‘Labour is party of the future’
13:25 , Miriam Burrell
Sir Keir Starmer has addressed a packed Labour HQ .
He told activists that Labour is the “party of the future” as they celebrated a number of key local election wins.
“I’ve just got back from Medway where we have won for the first time since 1998 and the optimism there, the hope, the joy - you can feel it,” he said.
“The sense that Labour is the party of the future is written on the faces of everyone I just met.
“And now we are going to make it reality not just in Medway, or Stoke, or Plymouth, or Middlesbrough but across the country.
“We all know there’s no place for letting up. Let's never mistake confidence for complacency.
“But we are going to bottle this feeling we have today and then we’re going to turn it into a general election win next year.
“We’re going to cut the cost of living, cut waiting times, cut crime.
“We’re going to end the Tory sticking plaster politics and we’re going to replace it with a mission-led Labour government that gives working people their future back.”
Labour unseat Tory council leaders in Swindon and Rugby
13:09 , Rachael Burford
Labour has unseated the Tory leaders at Swindon and Rugby Councils.
Swindon Conservative David Renard has been a councillor for more than 20 years, and became leader in 2013.
He lost to Labour by more than 600 votes.
Derby to remain under no overall control, predicts Tory leader
12:57 , Rachael Burford
Chris Poulter, the Conservative leader of Derby City Council, expects the council to remain in a position of no overall control.
The council is currently led by a Conservative minority, with the Tories having 18 seats, while 26 are needed for a majority.
Discussing his party’s chances, Mr Poulter said: “It’s tough. I’ve seen the national picture, and some seem to expect that, but in Derby I expect us to buck the trend.
“I expect us to be strong where we are strong already, I expect us to hold our own and even have a bonus on top of that.
“My gut feeling is that there will be no overall control in the city and then it will be up for discussions afterwards to see what the final picture looks like.”
Labour call a win in East Staffordshire
12:34 , Rachael Burford
Labour believe they have won East Staffordshire council from the Tories.
A party spokesman said: “A hugely significant result that confirms we are on course for a majority Labour government. We have been going backwards in Staffordshire in recent General Elections.
“With this gain and our win in Stoke, we are making real progress in the places we need to win the next election.”
Results so far
12:31 , Rachael Burford
Just under half of the local election results have been declared.
Here are the town halls that have changed hands so far:
Medway - Labour gain from Conservative
Windsor & Maidenhead - Lib Dem gain from Conservative
Hertsmere - Conservative loss to no overall control
East Lindsay - Conservative loss to no overall control
Stoke-on-Trent - Labour gain from no overall control
Brentwood - Conservative loss to no overall control
Tamworth - Conservative loss to no overall control
Plymouth - Labour gain from no overall control
South Gloucestershire - Conservative loss to no overall control
Welwyn Hatfield - Conservative loss to no overall control
Boston - Independent gain from no overall control
North West Leicestershire - Conservative loss to no overall control
South Kesteven - Conservative loss to no overall control
East Hertfordshire - Conservative loss to no overall control
Stratford Upon Avon: Lib Dems oust Tory leader
12:25 , Rachael Burford
The Lib Dems have beaten the Tory Leader on Stratford Upon Avon council and say they are confident of ousting the Conservative party from control.
A party spokesperson said: “We are now seeing Lib Dem votes piling up in unexpected areas. It’s going down to the wire, but Conservative big name MPs like Nadhim Zahawi and Michael Gove could have a Lib Dem-run council this time tomorrow.
“Conservative MPs across the Blue Wall will be petrified at these results. If we win in Stratford and Surrey Heath, there is nowhere safe in the Blue Wall."
Tories hold West Midlands Labour target
12:19 , Rachael Burford
In a rare bit of good news for the Tories, the party held onto Walsall in the West Midlands.
It is one of the areas Labour would likely have to win to be confident of getting an overall Commons majority at the next general election.
Labour expect to take control in York
12:14 , Rachael Burford
Labour is expecting to take control of York council due to gains from the Lib Dems and Greens.
Party sources said it was “beyond our expectations”.
Since 2015 the town hall has been under no overall control, with the Liberal Democrats the largest party.
Could the Lib Dems cause upset in Michael Gove’s patch?
12:09 , Rachael Burford
Liberal Democrats are confident of making big gains in Surrey Heath.
The party is reporting it’s neck-and-neck with the Tories for overall control of the town hall in Housing Minister Michael Gove’s constituency.
“We were expecting a good night in Surrey but this is way beyond expectations”, said a party source.
Tories lose Welwyn Hatfield
12:02 , Rachael Burford
Another loss for the Conservatives in Welwyn Hatfield, where Energy Minister Grant Shapps is MP.
The council is still counting votes but looks set to move to no overall control.
Lib Dem wins two seats - 160 miles apart
11:54 , Rachael Burford
A Lib Dem candidate has won two council seats - 160 miles apart.
Chris Twells was elected to represent both Tetbury with Upton in Gloucestershire and Salford in Manchester.
He won the Cotswold seat by just 60 votes. To keep places on both councils he would have to attend a meetings in person at least every six months.
The revelation Mr Twells could be serving on councils in two completely different parts of the country has not gone down well with opposition politicians.
Labour's Local Government Association said it was "completely unacceptable to pretend you can be an effective local councillor in two boroughs over 100 miles apart".
Mr Twells told the Local Democracy Reporting Service before the count that if he won in Gloucestershire, he would resign in Salford.
Congratulations Councillor Chris Twells & ‘paper candidate’ in the Cotswolds on being elected c.160 miles away from the City of Salford in @CotswoldDC’s Tetbury with Upton Ward👇🏻
Please now do the right thing by the people of Ordsall & Salford & RESIGN to focus on the Cotswolds. https://t.co/XG4x1QI3d6
— SalfordMayor (@salford_mayor) May 5, 2023
New voter ID rules posed ‘challenges’
11:21 , Rachael Burford
Voters faced “challenges” at polling stations and some were turned away due to a lack of accepted ID, according to the elections watchdog.
John Pullinger, who chairs the Electoral Commission, said he witnessed people being stopped from voting and added there is a need to “get underneath” the issues that led to such a situation.
The commission will collect data and details from polling station staff, parties, campaigners, tellers and observers, Mr Pullinger said.
He said the commission will publish an initial analysis in June, adding: “We will do a really detailed full report in September that will have recommendations on what we need to do about any challenges that people faced.”
Political academic Sir John Curtice said evidence so far suggests voters having to bring photo ID to polling stations did not cause a major problem.
He cited four pieces of data, including a sample of results indicating turnout is "only very slightly down" on 2019, 2021 and 2022.
‘Too soon for Labour to declare election victory’, says polls expert
11:08 , Rachael Burford
It’s too soon to say that Labour is on course to win a majority at the next general election, polling expert Professor Sir John Curtice said.
Sir Keir Starmer is celebrating Labour local election wins in key battlegrounds, such as Medway in Kent.
The Labour leader suggested it puts his party on course to secure a majority at the next general election.
“The swing in the national polls since 2019 is 5 per cent, the swing in the sample of results we have is 4 per cent, therefore it’s a little bit lower”, Sir John told the PA news agency.
“In our sample at least Labour’s vote is not up on last year, so it’s not the kind of performance Blair was achieving before ‘97.
“Labour are going to have their biggest lead over the Conservatives in terms of votes than at any point since 2010 but it’s going to be as much to do with the Conservatives being down as much as it is Labour being up.
“If you want to be able to say this is clear evidence that we as a party have made progress, well as of 10.45am the jury is still out.”
PM hails Australia trade deal
10:56 , Rachael Burford
Rishi Sunak has hailed a free trade deal with Australia as he met the country’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
But the deal has been criticised by the Government’s own former Environment Secretary George Eustice as favouring Australia too much to Britain’s disadvantage.
It comes as the early results from the town hall elections showed voters in some Leave areas had turned to Labour.
Leading economists say Brexit will leave millions of workers in the UK around £1,300 worse off than if the country had remained in the EU .
Lib Dems ‘call time’ on Tories
10:38 , Rachael Burford
Ed Davey is also on somewhat of a victory lap this morning.
The Liberal Democrat leader met activists in Windsor and Maidenhead earlier to celebrate the party ousting the Tories in the Royal borough.
He unveiled a giant clock on the Windsor bridge and led the crowd in a countdown to ‘call time’ on the government.
“Time is up for Rishi Sunak and his appalling Conservative Government, we need a general election now," he said.
High taxes hit election chances, Tory rightwingers suggest
10:30 , Rachael Burford
Tory rightwingers are demanding tax cuts.
Ex-minister David Jones MP said: “Conservative voters want a lower tax regime and control over illegal immigration.”
If the PM wants to win back lost Conservative voters he should try offering some Conservative policies. Cut taxes, get better value for state spending and go for growth.
— John Redwood (@johnredwood) May 5, 2023
Keir Starmer does victory lap in Kent
10:11 , Rachael Burford
The Labour leader has joined jubilant party members in Chatham, Kent, this morning.
Labour has taken overall control of Medway Council for the first time since 1998 after winning 30 of its 59 seats.
To the cheers from activists, Sir Keir said: "Make no mistake, we are on course for a Labour majority at the next general election."
Polling expert warns Tories on track to lose more than 800 seats
09:44 , Rachael Burford
Polling expert and Tory peer Lord Robert Hayward has warned the Conservatives could lose more than 800 seats.
However he rejected claims that the results put Labour on course to win a majority at the general election, expected next autumn.
“I predicted beforehand that the Conservatives would lose 800 seats, we are heading in that direction, or possibly above that,” he told Sky News.
But he stressed that before Tony Blair’s landslide victory in 1997, Labour was getting a national equivalent vote share in local elections of between 43 per cent and 47 per cent, but was currently on around 40 per cent.
“That is not a clear enough lead to say ‘we are there’,” he added.
He also stressed that places like Stoke-on-Trent were previously “rock-solid” Labour areas so if it wins them back at the next general election it would give them a “sound foundation”.
But for Sir Keir Starmer to win the keys to Downing Street, Labour need to gain seats in places such as Medway and Tamwort.
Tories lose control of nine councils
09:11 , Miriam Burrell
With results declared from 61 of 230 councils, the Tories have lost control of nine councils.
Labour has gained three, the Liberal Democrats one, independents one and four under no overall control.
Next council results expected at midday
09:02 , Miriam Burrell
South Gloucetershire is the last of the councils that counted overnight to declare, with pauses at three councils until later on Friday.
It means the next council result is not expected until around midday.
There are 169 council results to come and three elections for mayors.
Tories lose control in South Gloucestershire
08:59 , Miriam Burrell
Tories have lost control of South Gloucestershire, where they previously held 33 of the 61 seats, losing 10 of them.
Labour gained six and the Liberal Democrats three.
The new council is under no overall control, with 23 Conservatives, 20 Lib Dems, 17 Labour and one independent.
Tory chairman says Putin partly to blame for losses
08:58 , Miriam Burrell
Tory party chairman Greg Hands says a difficult backdrop to the local elections, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is partly to blame for Tory losses.
He told LBC: “Last year was a very difficult year for the whole country, for the whole party, after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the spike in energy crisis, the rise in inflation.
“People are still dealing with that. The backdrop to these elections has not been the best.”
Mr Hands said the election results have been “disappointing” and “difficult”.
He also blamed “classic mid-term government unpopularity” for the party’s losses.
'You're surely not blaming Vladamir Putin for losing control of the Medway council, after 23 years?'@NickFerrariLBC puts this question to Tory Chairman @GregHands after he said that Vladimir Putin was partly responsible for a loss of control in a 'disappointing night'. pic.twitter.com/J2aQuEmZ0O
— LBC (@LBC) May 5, 2023
Lib Dems leader says results ‘better than we expected’
08:47 , Miriam Burrell
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey told the BBC that the party’s results so far are “way better” than they expected.
He would not be drawn on whether his party would seek to enter a coalition with Labour at the next general election.
“I’m increasingly confident about our ability to beat Conservative MPs at the next general election,” he told Sky News.
Windsor leader loses seat to 22-year-old Lib Dem
08:41 , Miriam Burrell
The Tory leader of Windsor council, Andrew Johnson, has lost his seat to Liberal Democrat candidate George Blundell, aged 22.
Lib Dem Victory 🔸 Congratulations to George Blundell elected as councillor in Hurley & the Walthams ward.
Conservative leader of the council falls to Lib Dem candidate George Blundell 🔸 pic.twitter.com/jWAp2R9mZe
— Maidenhead Liberal Democrats (@maidenheadLD) May 5, 2023
‘A hammering’: Tories lose third of their council seats
08:31 , Miriam Burrell
“The Conservatives have lost a third of their council seats so far - a hammering by any standard,” election expert Professor Michael Thrasher, Associate Member, Nuffield College, Oxford, told Sky News.
“If that trend continues, the party is likely to post a final tally that rivals the debacle of 1995 that left them limping towards a massacre at the general election two years later.”
Tories lose control of South Kesteven
08:29 , Miriam Burrell
The Tories lost control of South Kesteven in Lincolnshire, a council where the party had 36 of the 56 seats before polling day.
They lost 12 seats, leaving the council under no overall control, with 24 Conservatives, 22 independents, four Liberal Democrats, four Greens and two Labour.
Tories could ‘lose 1,000 seats by end of today'
08:26 , Miriam Burrell
The Tories could lose 1,000 seats by the end of the day, says election expert Sir John Curtice.
The Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University told the BBC: “The clear message of the night is that the Conservatives have done badly…they might end up losing 1,000 by the end of today.”
But he cast doubt on Labour’s claim that the results put them on course to win the next General Election with an overall majority.
“It was uncertain before yesterday, and it’s still uncertain this morning,” he believes.
Sir Keir Starmer would have wanted to demonstrate that Labour is going forward, not just the Tories going backwards.
“That is the bit that they may not be able to prove,” Sir John explained.
Rishi Sunak says results are ‘disappointing’
08:24 , Miriam Burrell
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told of his “disappointment” at losing some councillors but sought to highlight where his party was doing better.
He told Sky News: “It’s always disappointing to lose hard-working Conservative councillors, they’re friends, they’re colleagues and I’m so grateful to them for everything they’ve done.
“In terms of the results, it’s still early, we’ve just had a quarter of the results in.”
He added: “We’re making progress in key electoral battlegrounds like Peterborough, Bassetlaw, Sandwell.”
Pictured: After 57 of 230 councils declared
07:54 , Miriam Burrell
Tories ‘can’t escape reality’, voters are ‘miserable’
07:52 , Miriam Burrell
The “main lesson” from local election results so far is that the Tories “can’t escape reality”, a focus group expert has said.
UK Director of More in Common, Luke Tryl, tweeted: “In focus groups and polling over the past year people have told us they’re miserable, that it feels like Britain is broken and that the Government if not all to blame certainly isn’t helping.”
Main lesson from local election results so far is quite clear, you can’t escape reality. In focus groups and polling over the past year people have told us they’re miserable, that it feels like Britain is broken and that the Government if not all to blame certainly isn’t helping.
— Luke Tryl (@LukeTryl) May 5, 2023
Tories lose East Hertfordshire
07:47 , Miriam Burrell
The Tories lost control of East Hertfordshire, a council where they held 39 of the 50 seats before polling day.
With six results to be declared, the Tories had 13 seats, trailing the Greens on 17, while the Liberal Democrats had nine and Labour five.
Lib Dems ‘exceeding all expectations’, source says
07:36 , Miriam Burrell
Sir Ed Davey’s Liberal Democrats claimed early on Friday that they are “exceeding all expectations in the capital’s commuter belt.”
They gained Windsor and Maidenhead Council, ousted Tories from control in Brentwood, and were said to be “neck-and-neck” in Dacorum.
A source said: “The worst is yet to come for the Conservatives in the commuter belt - Raab’s Elmbridge, and Gove’s Surrey Heath counting this afternoon - expect LD gains.”
Rishi Sunak enters Tory HQ following ‘disappointing’ results
07:33 , Miriam Burrell
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been seen entering the Conservative campaign headquarters on Friday morning.
It comes as Tory chairman Greg Hands said the local election results have been “disappointing”.
He told GB News: “It’s still early days so far but if I might say, it’s not been that great a result for Labour in some areas.
“We’ve actually gained seats in Peterborough, Sandwell, Bassetlaw, other areas that Labour need to win at the next election.”
BREAKING: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak going into the Conservative Campaign Headquarters.
📺 Sky 501, Virgin 602, Freeview 233 and YouTube pic.twitter.com/Y2jTMZwlnU
— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 5, 2023
Rishi Sunak faces ‘perfect storm’ as Tories lose seats
07:23 , Miriam Burrell
Rishi Sunak threatened with “perfect storm” as Tories lose council seats to Labour and Lib Dems make gains, says leading pollster Keiran Pedley.
Early signs are very bad night for Cons. 4-5 pt swing to Labour with Lib Dems resurgent too would be something of a perfect storm. Debating whether Starmer ‘doing a Blair’ a distraction. Plenty of other ways to win.
But still early days and need that projected national vote.
— Keiran Pedley (@keiranpedley) May 5, 2023
Tories lose more than 200 councillors by 7am
07:18 , Miriam Burrell
By shortly after 7am, the Tories had lost more than 200 seats, putting them on course for a grim overall result for their party.
They were down 208 councillors, with 59 town halls having declared, Labour was up 111, the Liberal Democrats up 55, Greens up 29 and Independents up 20.
These are early results, often from urban areas, and the Tories may recover once the shire votes come in.
Labour claims it’s ‘on course’ to win general election
07:16 , Miriam Burrell
Labour’s national campaign co-ordinator has claimed the results show the party is “on course for a majority Labour government”.
“We have spent the whole campaign talking about Labour’s plan to tackle the Tory cost of living crisis which is the number one issue for voters,” MP Shabana Mahmood said.
“Rishi Sunak can’t talk about it because the Tories crashed the economy and they don’t know how to fix it.”
Early results in council elections, which tend to come in first from more urban areas, can give a boost to Labour but the Tories may recover ground when the shire local authorities declare.
Lib Dems win ward covering Windsor Castle and Eton College
07:11 , Miriam Burrell
On the eve of the King’s coronation, the Lib Dems win the Eton and Castle ward in Windsor from the Tories, with a 22 per cent swing.
This is the ward covering Windsor Castle and Eton College.
Johnson and Truss to blame for Tory losses, minister suggests
07:04 , Miriam Burrell
A minister has suggested Boris Johnson and Liz Truss are to blame for Tory losses across England.
Transport minister Huw Merriman told the BBC: “When I was talking to my constituents on the doorsteps yesterday, they were talking about older news about former prime ministers, but saying your current leader seems to have what it takes.
“He seems to be turning things around for us, but this is the opportunity for the electorate to give their vote on where we have been previously.”
Asked if it was Mr Johnson and Ms Truss’s fault, Mr Merriman said: “Certainly, on the doorsteps the feedback I got was that we are in a better place. The polls show that as well. People are reacting in a more positive way towards Rishi Sunak.”
Tories lose control in deputy prime minister’s constituency
06:58 , Miriam Burrell
The Lib Dems have gained six seats and Labour gained seven seats from the Tories in Hertsmere - Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden’s constituency.
It means the Tories have lost overall control of the council.
As one Labour staffer put it, Mr Dowden has “has lost his ultra safe Tory heartland”.
Labour takes over Medway for first time since 1998
06:50 , Miriam Burrell
Labour has taken overall control of Medway Council for the first time since 1998 after winning 30 of its 59 seats.
With six seats still to be declared, the Tories are on 22 and there is one independent, but Labour now cannot be caught.
Yes!!! Very happy for one of the loveliest people in local government @vincemaple and the team at @MedwayLabour but most importantly for the people of Medway who will see the difference a Labour run council can make! 🌹 #LocalElection23 pic.twitter.com/vbcHut5QBn
— Sarah Owen MP (@SarahOwen_) May 5, 2023
Tories lose control of five councils, Labour gains two
06:43 , Miriam Burrell
Results have been coming in overnight after voters took to the polls on Thursday in England’s local elections.
With results declared from 51 of the 230 councils, the Conservatives had lost control of five councils, while Labour had gained two.
The Tories had lost 134 seats, with Labour gaining 107, the Liberal Democrats gaining 42 and the Greens gaining nine.