English elections 2021: Conservatives make gains across country

By Laura Sharman | 07 May 2021

The Conservatives have taken control of 13 more councils in England in last week's local elections.

The party has gained an extra 236 councillors according to the final count, with Labour losing control of eight councils.

The Conservatives secured victories in Amber Valley, Basildon, Basingstoke & Deane, Cannock Chase, Cornwall, Dudley, Gloucester, Harlow, Maidstone, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Nuneaton & Bedworth, Pendle, Southampton, Welwyn Hatfield and Worcester.

It lost control of Cambridgeshire, Isle of Wight and Tunbridge Wells.

The Conservatives also won the Hartlepool by-election with a majority vote of almost 7,000. This is the first time they have taken the former ‘red wall’ seat for the first time since the constituency was created in 1974.

Tory candidate Jill Mortimer won the election with a clear majority of 15,529 votes, with Labour candidate Paul Daniel Williams securing 8,589 votes.

Speaking after the count, Ms Mortimer said: ‘I’m immensely proud to be the first Conservative MP in hart in nearly 57 years. Not only that, but I am the first woman MP to ever be elected for this town. It is a truly historic result and a momentous day. Labour have taken people in Hartlepool for granted for too long.’

The Liberal Deomcrats took one extra council and seven more councillors. The Green Party also celebrated success in the elections, gaining an extra 88 councillors. 

Conservative Ben Houchen won a second term as Tees Valley mayor, winning 75% of the vote in a landslide victory, and fellow Conservative Andy Street held his post as West Midlands mayor with 49% of the vote.

However, Labour won host of other mayoral elections including Andy Burnham for Greater Manchester, Norma Redfearn for North Tyneside, Paul Dennett for Salford City Council, and Dan Norris for West of England mayor, and Tracey Brabin became the first woman combined authority mayor in West Yorkshire.

Labour's Joanne Anderson has been elected as Liverpool's mayor, making her the first black woman to be a directly-elected mayor.

And in further wins for the party, Labour's Steve Rotheram has been re-elected as Liverpool's metro mayor, while Labour's Ros Jones has been re-elected as mayor of Doncaster for a third term, beating the Conservative candidate by more than 10,000 votes. Labour's Nik Johnson was elected to replace Conservative's James Palmer at Cambridgeshire & Peterborough.

In Bristol, Marvin Rees was re-elected as Labour mayor, but the council has gone to no overall control after a surge in votes for the Greens.

Sadiq Khan has been re-elected for a second term as London's Labour mayor after winning 55.2% of the popular vote.

Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of the LGIU, said: 'The big story everyone is focusing on is the shift from Labour to the Conservatives. It’s certainly a bad set of local results for Labour but when we look in detail, we can see that underneath this big picture some more complex local stories are bubbling away.

'Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats, while losing seats nationally, have made gains, some of them substantial, in many areas, as have Independents. The Greens have seen a huge surge across the country. Local dynamics remain important.

'That’s also clear in the metro mayor results. While there was something for both Labour and the Conservatives to celebrate here, in truth these results don’t have much to do with national politics. They’re about local leadership, local identity, civic pride and representation.'

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