Labour becomes the largest party in local government as Tories face significant losses
In a significant blow for the Conservatives, they have lost over a thousand seats in the local elections across England, allowing Labour to become the largest party in local government for the first time in over 20 years.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer admitted the results were “not good” for her party but praised Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for “starting to deliver in a quiet way for the British people”.
Frazer attributed the poor electoral performance to the Tories’ long reign in government, the pandemic’s impact, and the fallout from the Ukraine war, rather than Sunak and his policies. She stated, “I think we’re starting to gain the trust of the British public”.
In contrast, Labour’s Wes Streeting claimed his party was “confident but not complacent” after gaining over 500 seats and control of another 22 councils.
The results put pressure on the Conservative Party as they face discontent within their ranks. However, the government plans to push forward with their current policies. For Labour, these local election results indicate potential progress, but analysis suggests they would still fall short of an outright majority in a general election.
The Liberal Democrats also had a successful night, gaining over 400 seats and control of an additional 12 councils. Deputy leader Daisy Cooper did not rule out a coalition government with Labour but stated the party’s focus would be on getting their MPs elected in the next general election.
The final tallies from this week’s votes showed Labour with 2,652 seats, the Tories with 2,287, and the Lib Dems with 1,615 seats. The Green Party also saw success, adding 241 seats to their total.