Wigan council local election 2024 results in full

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Wigan’s ruling Labour party emerged effectively unscathed as it ended the local election with the same number of councillors it had before. With the party riding high in the national polls, campaigners had expected to keep the 21 seats Labour was defending on Thursday (May 2).

And when Mike Smith toppled Conservative Kathleen Houlton in Lowton East, the party looked to be heading for an even tighter grip of the borough. Yet there was one final twist to come, as independent candidate Tony Whyte defeated Labour’s Janice Sharratt to inflict the only blow on the party in the borough.

Like at other Greater Manchester counts, there was a long delay at both Robin Park and Leigh Sports Village as the council had to receive the green light for verification of votes from Manchester, due to the mayoral election. Counting staff chatted amongst themselves for well over an hour, but once that hurdle was finally cleared, a string of Labour successes swiftly followed.

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“I think there's been a lot of hard work done by all of our candidates,” said Coun David Molyneux, Labour leader of Wigan Council. “I think there's a feeling, everybody wants a general election, and that's the story we get on the doorstep.

“The other thing is, obviously it's the mayoral elections as well, and it certainly has a big impact in terms of people’s opinions on how they want to vote.” While it was a solid night for his party overall, Coun Molyneux has now lost two Labour councillors in his own ward over the last 12 months, with Tony Whyte following in Maureen O’Bern’s footsteps.

He told the M.E.N: “I feel great. I think Labour need a shake-up in this town, they've done a number of things a lot of people aren't happy with, and we're independents trying to put things right - but it will take a while, because there are still too many Labour councillors.”

Over in Leigh, the insurgent independents who gave Labour a surprise upset last year managed to hold on to their seats, with Coun Fish increasing his majority in Tyldesley to 1538 from 940 the year before. But Mike Smith’s whopping vote tally of 2,179 in Lowton East to overcome Tory Kathleen Houlton’s 1,845 was the story of the night in Leigh.

“Leigh is a bellweather,” said Labour’s deputy council leader Keith Cunliffe. He explained that when the national mood turned from former leader Jeremy Corbyn, it was tough on the doorstep, but now there is a different story.

“We've had Conservative voters telling us they won't turn up to vote for the party, we've even had some say they'll vote Labour,” he added. The Tories were expecting a tough night against the national backdrop, with Rishi Sunak’s party way behind Labour in the polls.

Their fears were compounded, with the party now having just one member on Wigan Council, while Reform UK picked up hundreds of votes across the five wards they stood in - chipping away at the Tory vote.

Greater Manchester local election results 2024

Here are all the local election results where you live in Greater Manchester: