Southend local election results: Labour set to lead new coalition of Southend Council

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

Labour could be set to lead another coalition administration after becoming the largest party on Southend Council. While the 2024 local election wasn’t quite the landslide Labour hoped for, the party was left with 20 seats after gaining four wards.

The wins include Labour’s Nadeem Shahid, who ousted Tory children’s services portfolio holder Helen Boyd in Blenheim Park ward, with a healthy 1,089 votes against Ms Boyd’s 677 votes. Labour’s Pamela Kinsella won a clear majority in Westborough ward following the deselection of Aston Line, while Sam Allen won easily in Milton after the ousting of former leader Stephen George.

Irene Ferguson won Tricia Cowdrey’s former Kursaal Ward seat for Labour, while Ms Cowdrey lost out after moving to the Shoebury ward to stand as an independent. Daniel Cowan, leader of the Labour Group, said: ”We had an objective to replicate what we’ve done at a national level which is to become the biggest party in local government. We wanted to become the biggest party and the biggest group in Southend and we’ve done that.

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

Read more: Harlow announces local election results after 'knife edge' battle

“We’d have liked to have won some more. We got very, very close and we made very big gains in some wards. What it shows is that people were buying into the vision we had with our five-point plan to build a city to be proud of and now we have to find a way to do that moving forward, possibly with some partners.”

Tories were left with 18 seats after losing four seats of the 11 seats the party contested. Former councillor Judith McMahon returned to the council following a win for the Tories in Shoebury.

Former Tory cabinet member Lesley Salter won in West Leigh, ousting veteran Lib Dem councillor Peter Wexham. James Moyies remains a Tory councillor after a win in West Shoebury.

Tony Cox, leader of the Conservative Group said: “It was an interesting set of results. Working on the national picture we were predicted to lose six to eight seats. We lost four but interestingly we won more ward contests this year than we did last year. Politics was very divided in Southend and it shows it still is as divided. We had 22 and now we have 18 seats.”

There was no change for Lib Dems who ended the night with four seats but the Green Party saw its numbers double to two after a resounding win for Stuart Allen in the Leigh ward.

Stuart Allen joins Richard Longstaff on the council after winning in Leigh Ward with 1,725 votes against Lib Dem Jean De Tourtoulon’s 637 votes. Following the result Mr Longstaff said: “I’m not all on my own now. What a tremendous result.

"He smashed it out of the park. Stuart is a little dynamo. He’s been helping me all through the year. He’s so committed. He was the only candidate that actually lived in the ward and also works in the ward. He’s very passionate about Leigh. It looks like we had more of the vote percentage-wise than the Lib Dems. We were just above them overall on the night. I think that’s probably a first.”

Mr Longstaff added: “We are all ecstatic. It’s been an amazing result. It gives everyone confidence that a Green vote is not a wasted vote.”

Independent Susan Badger saw off Southend East and Rochford Conservative Association chairman Gavin Chambers in Thorpe Ward. The council is now made up of 20 Labour members, 18 Conservatives, four Lib Dems, seven Independents and two Green Party members. Turnout was slightly up at 30.74 per cent this year compared to last year’s 30.47 per cent.