The local authorities gained and lost by Labour in the 2022 local elections

Below is a list of the councils gained and lost by Labour in the 2022 local elections.

Barnet

Labour gained the north London council today, which had been held by the Tories for 20 years and is home to Margaret Thatcher’s old seat. Labour took 12 seats from the Conservatives, leaving the Tories with 22 councillors and Labour 41. Labour has never before had a majority on the council. The borough has a large Jewish population and Labour has said the party gaining the council is “showing the progress Keir Starmer has made to regain the trust of Jewish voters”.

Interestingly, Labour group leader Barry Rawlings indicated this morning that the key factor was disillusionment with the Conservatives rather than enthusiasm for his party: “A lot of Conservatives haven’t voted this time, I think they feel alienated from No 10 and that they are, I don’t know, they’ve been disappointed with Boris Johnson and so not voting and I think that’s made a difference as well.”

Blaenau Gwent

Labour gained control of Blaenau Gwent council in Wales, making 12 gains. These mostly came from Independents, whose number decreased by 11. Labour’s gains reverse some of the major losses the party saw at the last election in 2017. At that election, Labour won just 13 seats – down from 33 in 2012 – as Independents took majority control of the council.

Another interesting dynamic in Blaenau Gwent is the reduced number of seats this time round. The number of councillors has dropped from 42 to 33 as a result of redrawn council boundaries. So Labour’s gains today do not reverse its losses in 2017. In 2012, the party held close to 79% of the available seats. In 2022, it took 21 out 33 – or 64%.

Bridgend

Labour gained Bridgend from no overall control, adding ten seats, to take the party’s total to 27. The Tory vote collapsed: the party lost 12 seats, ending up with just one. The Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru also performed poorly, both losing two seats. This leaves the Lib Dems with no seats on the council. This is a significant result given that the parliamentary constituency was most recently won by Tory Jamie Wallis back in 2019.

Crawley

Labour gained Crawley in West Sussex from no overall control, taking one seat off of the Conservatives. Labour regained the council having lost it two years ago. The council leadership remains incredibly close run, however, with Labour holding 18 of the council’s 36 seats and the Tories 17, with one vacancy still to be filled in a future by-election.

Croydon

Labour lost control of Croydon council, which is now in no overall control. Labour won 34 seats, compared to the Tories on 32. Croydon was the last council to declare, announcing the result of Thursday’s poll on Sunday evening. Voters in the London borough also elected Conservative Jason Perry as the council’s first ever elected mayor.

Labour councillor Stuart King described the results as “disappointing”, with the party losing seven seats on the council compared to the last elections in 2018. The Greens won two seats – the party’s first ever councillors in Croydon – while the Lib Dems gained one seat, the first time since 2002 that a Lib Dem has been elected to the council.

Cumberland

Labour won the inaugural vote of the first of two new councils in Cumbria, winning 66% of the vote in Cumberland. Labour secured 30 of the 46 seats available with the Conservatives getting seven, the Lib Dems four, the Greens two and three seats going to Independent candidates. Results for the second unitary authority, Westmorland and Furness, are due later on Friday. The new authorities that will replace Cumbria County Council and six district councils next year.

Harrow

Labour lost the council in north-west London, bucking the trend of Labour victories in the capital today. Keir Starmer’s party lost eight seats in a major swing to the Conservatives. Labour now holds 24 seats on the council compared to the Conservatives’ 31. This is the first time the Tories have had overall control since 2006.

The council has long been a hard-fought council between Labour and the Conservatives. Redrawn boundaries have resulted in the number of councillors being reduced from 63 to 55, making comparison with the last set of elections in 2018 slightly more difficult. But Labour’s vote share is revealing of the party’s changing fortunes – falling from 47% four years ago to 40% in 2022.

The election was also rocked by the recent revelation that a police investigation is underway after Harrow Council staff allegedly took £2m of taxpayer money in a scam that saw contractors only pave one side of a road.

Hastings

Labour has lost control of Hastings, after the Greens made three gains. Labour now has 15 councillors, the Tories 12 and the Greens five – leaving the council in no overall control. Asked about the result, Emily Thornberry told BBC News that “small parties do tend to do well” at local elections but added that Labour is “confident” it will win Hastings at next general election.

Kingston-Upon-Hull

Labour lost control of Kingston-Upon-Hull to the Lib Dems in the early hours of Friday morning. The Lib Dems gained two seats from Labour and one from the Conservatives to push them up to 29 councillors – ahead of Labour on 27.

The result is an interesting one. The authority has been held by Labour since 2011, but it’s electoral history prior to that was very mixed. The council was held by the Lib Dems between 2007 and 2011 and was in no overall control between 2002 and 2007. It has therefore been on a knife edge between Labour and the Lib Dems at various points in its recent history, making Labour’s loss of the council less drastic than it might at first appear.

Kirklees

Labour gained Kirklees from no overall control, adding two seats, to take its total to 36. The council was previously run by a minority Labour administration.

Monmouthshire

Labour has made significant gains in Monmouthshire to tip the council into no overall control. The council was previously held by the Tories. The Conservatives lost 12 seats in this election, taking their total to 18, while Labour made 12 gains to become the largest party on the council with 22 seats.

Monmouthshire was the only Conservative-controlled council in Wales, having been gained by the party from no overall control at the last election in 2017.

Rossendale

Labour gained Rossendale Borough Council from no overall control – adding two seats to its tally, while the Tories lost three. There had been concerns about a potential Green surge splitting the anti-Tory vote, as the party stood candidates across the whole borough for the first time in recent years. But this doesn’t appear to have been the case, as the Greens failed to make any gains. 

Southampton

Southampton is now a Labour-run local authority after the party gained four seats on the council in the south of England, overturning the small majority that the Tories held there from the last set of local elections. This means Labour is back in charge after spending just one year out of power. The Conservatives lost four of its councillors while the Lib Dems gained one – the first the party has gained in Southampton for almost ten years. The seat also straddles two marginal parliamentary constituencies – a fact Labour has been keen to highlight.

Tower Hamlets

Labour lost control of Tower Hamlets council to the Aspire Party, set up by newly re-elected mayor Lutfur Rahman. Rahman, who became the borough’s first directly elected mayor in 2010, received a five-year ban from politics in 2015 after being found to have committed corrupt and illegal practices by an election court.

In a disappointing set of results for Labour, Aspire won 24 seats on the council, while Labour took 19 – having held 42 ahead of the election. This followed Rahman’s re-election as Tower Hamlets mayor on Friday, unseating Labour incumbent John Biggs.

Wandsworth

Labour gained Wandsworth overnight for the first time since 1978. The local authority has long been touted as a Tory flagship council – but the London borough has returned 32 Labour councillors. The Tories secured just 22 seats on Margaret Thatcher’s favourite council, with one seat going to an Independent. 32 seats, the Tories 22 and one seat won by an independent.

Commenting on the news this morning, Sadiq Khan said: “This council first went Tory in 1978 when Margaret Thatcher was leader of the opposition. Margaret Thatcher, John Major, William Hague, Ian Duncan Smith, Michael Howard, David Cameron, Theresa May – all those times, this was a Conservative council.” The London mayor added that a “combination” of Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer had “brought home this seat to Labour”.

Westminster

Labour gained control of the previously Conservative council overnight – the first time that the Labour Party has taken the authority since its creation in 1964. This morning’s result therefore marks the end of 58 years of Conservative loyalty in the borough and a humiliating loss for the Tories. The win for Labour is hugely symbolic – and also was a difficult feat to pull off; the distribution of support for the parties has historically made this a difficult borough for Labour to make significant inroads. Labour has 29 seats now, however.

West Dunbartonshire

Labour gained West Dunbartonshire from no overall control – a significant result in part because of Scotland’s use of a proportional representation vote system, meaning councils are far more likely to be no overall control than in England. Labour gained four seats, while the Tories lost two, living up to predictions that the party would struggle in Scotland at these elections. Significantly, the SNP also lost a seat on the council, reversing some of the gains the party had made in the area at the last election in 2017.

Worthing

In further good news in West Sussex, Labour gained Worthing council from no overall control. Worthing is another huge result for Labour: the party won its first seat on the council in 40 years in 2017 and rapidly rose to be level pegging with the Tories by 2022. Labour gained six seats in this election, five from the Tories and one from the Lib Dems. The party took not one but two seats in Castle ward (as there was an additional by-election) – a ward that was previously exclusively Tory. It also gained a second seat in Tarring ward, a former Lib Dem stronghold.

Labour MP for nearby Hove and Portslade Peter Kyle tweeted about the “sheer joy” as Labour took control of the council in a “stunning, historic victory”. He argued the win is “proof that Labour is reconnecting to traditional coastal communities”.

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