Lancashire

Lancashire County Council election: Tories gain control

County Hall
Image caption Lancashire County Council was previously under no overall control with Labour the biggest party

The Conservatives have gained control of Lancashire County Council.

The authority had been under no overall control, with Labour the biggest party by four councillors.

Nationally, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) suffered huge losses, but they did manage to gain the Padiham and Burnley West ward on Lancashire County Council from Labour.

Alan Hosker beat Marcus Johnstone with a majority of 228 as, elsewhere, the Greens held Lancaster Central ward.

With a 45% share of the vote, the Tories won 46 of the council's 84 seats.

Among them were incredibly narrow victories in Mid-Rossendale (won by only eight votes) and Clitheroe (five).

Pendle Central was a Conservative gain for Joe Cooney from the Liberal Democrats, while the Tories also picked up Rossendale South, Chorley Rural West, and Moss Side & Farington.

Image copyright Burnley Council
Image caption Alan Hosker won UKIP's first seat in the 2017 local elections

Labour lost nine wards compared to 2013, winning 30 seats on a 35% share of the vote. Hasina Khan gained Chorley North in a rare bit of good news for the party.

Jennifer Mein, the previous council leader, easily retained her Preston South East seat but was left in tears by Labour's loss of the county hall.

The Liberal Democrats took four seats - losing two - while two seats were held by independents (Liz Oades in Fylde East and Paul Hayhurst in Fylde West)

Compared with 2013, overall turnout rose 5% to 42%.

The county council provides local government services across the region including education, health, social care and transport.


Analysis: Mike Stevens, BBC Radio Lancashire

The Conservatives have done it... they have overall control of Lancashire County Council.

Labour haven't done as poorly as some might have predicted but they'll still be bitterly disappointed with this result.

The Lib Dem surge that some had predicted hasn't arrived and they've ended up with only half the seats they've had for the past four years.

As well as that Conservative majority, the big shock here today is the fact UKIP have won a seat. Alan Hosker is so far the UK's only victor.

I'm told the Tories are having a meeting on Saturday to finalise arrangements but, as things stand, Councillor Geoff Driver will be the next leader of Lancashire County Council.

Labour leader Jenny Mein told me: "I just want to go home and cry".

Politics can be an unforgiving beast.


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