Southend local election: Which parties could form a coalition to lead Southend Council after no party wins a majority?

The count gets underway in Southend
The count gets underway in Southend -Credit:LDRS

With no clear win for a single party, the horse-trading is set to begin to determine who will lead the next Southend Council administration. Labour, as the largest party with 20 seats, could team up with the four Lib Dems and any of the seven Independents to once again become a Labour-led joint coalition in the 51-seat council.

Conservative Group leader Tony Cox also hasn’t ruled out a similar arrangement. Once again the Independents and Lib Dems hold the balance of power despite being minority parties.

Martin Terry, leader of the Independent Group, said: “There will be a gathering together of all the independents to work out a way forward. Working out in a truly democratic way from there what we should do.

Read our live coverage of the local election results in Essex here: Local election results for Essex as first winners announced

Read more: Labour set to lead new coalition of Southend Council

“The most important thing is we have stability. That has to be the primary objective. That will be what decides it.”

Paul Collins, leader of the Lib Dem Group, added: “We have got previous history of that with Labour and Independents and I’m sure that would be something we will be talking about. We will listen to people and what happened before, may happen again.”

Daniel Cowan, leader of the Labour Group, said talks would get underway almost immediately.

Labour has secured 20 seats at Southend Council, making them the biggest party but without a majority
Labour has secured 20 seats at Southend Council, making them the biggest party but without a majority -Credit:LDRS

He said: “I think we’ll have to really look at what the numbers are and we’ll have to make a decision how we proceed. Ultimately we want the most stable position possible, whether that’s a minority administration supported on confidence and supply or whether that’s a formal coalition arrangement.

“I’d need to have those conversations with other group leaders. I need to discuss with my group as well and ultimately it gets signed off by the National Labour Party but our main aim would be to form and administration and to have it as stable as possible.”

Mr Cox insisted a Labour coalition wasn’t inevitable. He said; “We don’t know. No one knows. It would be wrong for me to say anything at this stage. I think what we all need to do is to take stock of the results when we are all not as tired. All with calm heads. There’s discussions we all need to have with our own individual groups and things will happen naturally after that.”