London elections 2022: Labour retains control of Hammersmith and Fulham with 40 seats

·4-min read
 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

Labour has retained control of Hammersmith and Fulham with 40 seats, while the Conservatives won 10.

It was thought that issues such as the Hammersmith Bridge fiasco and poor housing conditions could tip the balance in favour of the Tories in certain wards, but the Tories ended up winning one less seat than in 2018.

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Find our coverage leading up to the election results below.

Key Issues

The furore surrounding the closure of Hammersmith Bridge is likely to still be fresh in voters’ minds with just days to go until they head to the polls.

The bridge, which is owned by Hammersmith and Fulham Council, was first closed to motor vehicles in 2019 due to safety concerns after the council failed to come to an agreement with the Government over funding for refurbishments.

The closure has caused anger locally, with journey times increasing and congestion worsened in other areas.

When cracks were discovered in the bridge’s pedestals in August 2020, the bridge was shut entirely, with pedestrians and cyclists no longer able to use it. It was reopened to pedestrians and cyclists almost one year later following safety inspections.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council has been locked in a battle with the Government and TfL over who should foot the bill for the repairs to the bridge, which are estimated to cost £141 million.

In March, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the Department for Transport would pay a third of the repair costs.

Social housing and poor housing conditions are also likely to be high on the agenda, after a report earlier this year named Hammersmith and Fulham Council as the worst social landlord in the country with regards to damp and mould in its housing stock.

The Conservative opposition on the council has seized on the opportunity, and the party’s candidates will likely be campaigning on the issue ahead of May 5.

 (ES)
(ES)

Details

Control of Hammersmith and Fulham Council has alternated between Labour and the Conservatives since the first local elections in the borough in 1964.

Labour enjoyed a period of domination in the borough for two decades between 1986 and 2006 before the Tories went on to win consecutive elections.

Labour regained power in the borough in 2014 and have held a majority since.

Last time voters headed to the polls for local elections, in 2018, Labour strengthened its majority on Hammersmith and Fulham Council, winning nine seats from the Conservatives with 54.3 per cent of the popular vote – an increase of 8.1 per cent on 2014.

Overall, Labour won 35 of the council’s 46 seats in 2018, while the Conservatives won the remaining 11. The Conservatives saw their share of the vote slashed by 7.4 per cent compared to 2014.

Turnout in 2018 was 39 per cent, one per cent greater than it was in 2014.

Following the findings of the Local Government Boundary Commission, Hammersmith and Fulham will be divided into 21 wards from this year’s elections, with the number of seats on the council increasing from 46 to 50.

A by-election was held in the Fulham Broadway ward of the borough in September 2019 following the resignation of Labour councillor Alan De’Ath.

Labour won the by-election and retained the seat, but the Liberal Democrats came second with a surge in support that saw their vote share increase by 21.6 per cent. The Conservatives saw a 10.4 per cent swing against them while Labour suffered an 11.3 per cent swing.

Another by-election was held in September 2021, following the death of long-serving Labour councillor Colin Aherne, who had represented the Wormholt and White City ward since 1986. Labour retained the seat with a secure majority.

In February 2022, Hammersmith and Fulham Council agreed to freeze council tax for the 2022/23 financial year, making it one of only two councils in London to do so.

Demographics

According to estimates from 2018, Hammersmith and Fulham is home to a population of around 185,004 people. The population was recorded as 182,493 during the 2011 Census.

The 2011 Census found that 44.9 per cent of the borough’s population was made up of white British residents, while people from other white backgrounds made up 19.7 per cent.

The largest minority ethnic group in the borough as of 2011 was the black African community, which accounted for 5.7 per cent of the borough’s population. People from black Caribbean backgrounds made up 3.8 per cent.

Residents of Asian or British Asian heritage made up a combined 9.5 per cent of Hammersmith and Fulham’s population in 2011.

In terms of the borough’s age profile, 68.5 per cent of residents are aged between 18 and 64 while those aged 17 and under account for 20.2 per cent of the borough’s population. Over-65s represent 11.3 per cent.

With a poverty rate of 31 per cent and a child poverty rate of 34 per cent, Hammersmith and Fulham is deemed average in terms of deprivation. The unemployment rate in the borough is around 5.9 per cent.

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