Election 2016

England elections: Labour loses seats but holds councils

Rosettes Image copyright PA
Image caption Labour lost overall control of Dudley Council and dozens of seats across England

The make-up of England's councils has remained stubbornly unchanged following Thursday's elections.

With results in from all but nine of the 124 contested council areas, Labour has control of 57 councils, down from one previously.

The party's loss came in Dudley, as the council changed to no overall control in the face of Tory and UKIP gains.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives lost Worcester to no overall control but gained a majority in Peterborough.

UKIP finished on an equal number of seats to the Tories in Thurrock, Essex, prompting talk of working together.

Labour's Joe Anderson was re-elected for a second term as Mayor of Liverpool with 52.6% of the vote.

The seaside town of St Ives voted to ban the building of second homes in a referendum among its 12,000 residents. It means new housing projects will get planning permission if they are reserved for full-time residents, although a judicial review of the council's decision to hold the referendum is being sought by a local firm.

Tea, Elmo and wafer-thin wins: read about England's election in numbers.

Image caption Conservative and UKIP gains in Dudley have left the council in no overall control

In Dudley the Conservatives gained two seats and UKIP gained one, stripping Labour of its overall majority.

Anne Millward, senior Conservative on Dudley Council, said the party would not work with UKIP, but would consider coming to an arrangement with Labour.

The loss of two seats in Worcester meant the Tories were no longer in overall control of the city council. It now consists of 17 Conservatives, 16 Labour and two Green councillors.

However, the Conservatives went on to win an outright majority of two in Peterborough, where the council had previously been under no party's overall control.

Working together

Image caption Thurrock Tory group leader Rob Gledhill and UKIP leader Graham Snell have said they can work together after they won an equal number of seats

UKIP also narrowly missed out on becoming the largest party on Thurrock Council. The party had been the third biggest group before the election, but took four seats from Labour, one from the Conservatives and one from an independent.

The Conservatives and UKIP will now work together after winning 17 seats each.

Thurrock Tory group leader Rob Gledhill and UKIP leader Graham Snell said they believed they could work together.

BBC analysis suggests the Conservative vote is down in southern England, which may have helped Labour to retain control of councils in areas such as Crawley, Southampton, Norwich and Hastings, where it was looking vulnerable.

Labour's vote share is down about 6% on average on 2012 - the last time the seats in England were contested - but BBC analysis suggests its share is up slightly on the general election in key wards.

However, the party held the Westminster seat of Sheffield Brightside in a by-election, on a 5.8% swing from the Conservatives.

Image caption Stockport remains in no overall control after a Lib Dem councillor defected to Labour

Emma Reynolds, Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East, said the party's results overnight were "not good enough" in the face of "Tories in disarray".

She said Jeremy Corbyn as leader "should not be content with standing still" at this stage of the parliamentary cycle - highlighting other leaders who had made significant gains after one or two years in power.

She did though, stop short of saying Mr Corbyn should be replaced, saying the party's immediate priority was making its case in the pending EU Referendum.

Despite losing three seats, Derby City Council remains staunchly Labour. Council leader Ranjit Banwait described their performance as "quite remarkable".

"We've delivered the toughest budget in the city's history and people thought we wouldn't be in power as a result. Nationally Labour's had a hard time, the leadership of the Labour Party's had a hard time."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Despite losses, Labour has retained key councils in England

Deputy leader Tom Watson described Labour's overall picture as "mixed", while Carlisle City Council leader, Labour councillor Colin Glover said the recent row over alleged anti-semitism in the party damaged the local campaign. "It doesn't help when people say stupid things in public or indeed in private," he said.

"It doesn't help local campaigns and people want to make their view known - how disappointed they are and how angry they are with things like that."

Stockport remains in no overall control after a Lib Dem councillor defected to Labour. Stuart Bodsworth said he "no longer believed the Lib Dems could achieve the goals I seek". The loss of Mr Bodsworth and the defeat of the Lib Dems' leader saw Labour as the largest single party on Stockport but without an overall majority.

Giving his post-election analysis, Communities Secretary Greg Clarke said the Conservatives had "done incredibly well" while Labour had "failed to connect" with ordinary people.

He argued that even Michael Foot - Labour leader from 1980 to 1983 - won 1,000 local election seats in his first year despite going on to lose the 1983 general election, but Jeremy Corbyn has achieved far fewer.

More on this story