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Coffee House General Election 2017

Local elections: West Midlands win caps off a day of stunning successes for the Tories

    • The Tories are up 540 seats, have gained control of 11 councils and enjoyed success in the Tees Valley, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and West of England mayoral races. Conservative candidate Andy Street has won the West Midlands mayoral contest.
    • Labour’s vote has plummeted, with the party losing 360 seats as well as control of six councils. Labour’s Steve Rotherham won in Liverpool’s mayoral contest; Andy Burnham won in Greater Manchester.
    • Ukip has lost every seat it was defending. The party has gained one seat across the whole country – in Lancashire, from Labour.
    • The Lib Dems have lost 24 seats but have seen their share of the national vote jump by seven per cent.
    • The SNP are down 7 seats in Scotland, with the Tories up by 164. Scottish Labour lost overall control of Glasgow council for the first time in more than 35 years. The Tories pushed Labour into third place in Edinburgh

The final results:

In England, with all 34 councils declared, the Tories are up 317 seats, with Labour down by 142. The Lib Dems lost 26 seats, while Ukip suffered heavy defeats across the country, losing 143 seats.

In Wales, Labour are down 107 seats, with the Tories gaining 80. Plaid Cymru enjoyed success across the country, winning 33 seats.

In Scotland, the Tories are up 164 seats. Labour are down 133 seats and the SNP lost seven seats overall.

Here’s how the day unfolded:

5.20pm:

Jeremy Corbyn conceded that there were ‘disappointing results’ across the country for Labour. When asked about his future as party leader, he said he was ‘loving every minute of it’.

4.45pm:

Tory candidate Andy Street has been elected as West Midlands mayor.

4.20pm:

David Cameron has tweeted some warm words for his successor:

4.15pm:

Jeremy Corbyn has congratulated Andy Burnham on his victory in Greater Manchester:

4.10pm: 

Theresa May described the results as ‘encouraging’ but said there is ‘too much at stake’ to take ‘anything for granted’

4pm:

In Wales, the Tories are up 77 seats; Labour is down 106. Plaid Cymru have so far gained 34 seats.

3.45pm:

Andy Burnham has been elected as the mayor of Greater Manchester, with 63 per cent of the vote in the first round. Burnham made no mention of Jeremy Corbyn in his acceptance speech.

3.15pm:

Things are going badly for Labour but Jeremy Corbyn is doing his best to look on the bright side:

2.45pm:

The SNP has lost control of Dundee Council after the Tories won several seats.

2.20pm:

The Tories have won the Tees Valley mayoral race in a major upset. The Conservative candidate Ben Houchen defeated his Labour rival Sue Jeffrey in a run-off.

2pm:

Tory candidate Andy Street is ahead in the race to become the first West Midlands mayor. Here are the results from the first round of voting:

Conservatives: 216,253 (42 per cent)

Labour: 210,259 (41 per cent)

Lib Dems: 30,378 (6 per cent)

Ukip: 29,051 (6 per cent)

Greens: 24,260 (5 per cent)

1.50pm 

Steve Rotherham — a key Corbyn ally — has won the Liverpool mayoral election, with 59pc of the vote. This means the safe seat of Liverpool Walton will now open for candidate selection ahead of the general election next month.

1.30pm

Conservatives: +192

Labour:  -83

Lib Dems: -25

Green: +2

Ukip: -78

12pm

Scottish Labour has lost overall control of Glasgow council, for the first time in more than 35 years. It is now a waiting game to learn whether the SNP have gained enough seats to take control of the council.


As expected, Labour has had a miserable night: in England, the party has lost forty per cent of the seats it was contesting. Compared to 2013, Labour is forty seats down on its tally. What’s more, with the majority of the seats still to be declared, the final result could be much, much worse. In Wales, Labour is also having a tough time and has so far lost 74 seats. The party has lost its grip on three councils, with the Tories gaining control of two; and Labour has also been dealt a significant blow in Merthyr Tydfil, where its council leader was given the boot. Talk of a Labour wipeout in the country – so far, at least – seems to be exaggerated, however, with the party managing to cling on in Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Cardiff, Swansea and Torfaen.

Jeremy Corbyn’s critics will suggest that these results, once again, point to a failure of his leadership. The criticism though will be muted by the upcoming general election. Already Corbyn’s allies are justifying why these results shouldn’t signal a change at the top. Barry Gardiner on the Today programme this morning did his best to sound upbeat, saying that Labour’s series of leadership contests have not helped matters and that hopefully now things should settle down.

It’s harder for Ukip to look on the bright side though. If Labour is having a bad night, it looks positively dismal for the kippers. The party has lost every single one of the council seats it was defending so far. In Lincolnshire, it was particularly dreary: the party’s nine councillors are no more, with the Tories seizing control of the County Council. This does not bode at all well for Paul Nuttall, who is hoping to become the MP for Boston and Skegness. If these results are anything to go by, his chances do not look good. Of course, Ukip’s defenders will say the party’s results will inevitably look problematic when compared with its performance in 2013, where it averaged a quarter of the vote in the seats in which it stood. It’s safe to say that a repeat of that showing is not on the cards. Questions about Ukip’s future are already filling the airwaves this morning. While the party has always had a limited presence in Westminster, it used to be able to rely on strong representation at a local level to give it some clout. Not any longer. With little chance of winning seats at the upcoming snap election, the party looks to be in deep trouble.

For the Lib Dems, talk of a revival seems to be exaggerated. The party is 15 seats down so far in England, and a similar number down in Wales. Sir Vince Cable just about summed up the party’s performance so far by describing it as ‘neutral’ – hardly a ringing endorsement of the way things have gone so far for the party.

For the Tories though there is little doubt: it’s been a good night. The party has won control of five councils and is 111 seats up in England. In Wales, the party has snatched control of Monmouthshire and has won an extra 39 seats. The party also enjoyed success in the contest for the West of England metro mayor, where its candidate Tim Bowles triumphed over Labour’s Lesley Ann Mansell in a hard-fought race. Tory sources are also suggesting that Andy Street has won in West Midlands, though we’ll have to wait until this afternoon for confirmation. The party is doing its best to talk down the results so far. Sir Michael Fallon says there has been ‘encouraging progress’ but insists ‘there is nothing yet, really, to crow about’. Of course, he would say that. Yet it’s difficult to see how the Tories won’t be quietly delighted with their showing so far. Theresa May’s decision to call a snap election appears to have been vindicated.


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