Labour has now become the largest party of local government – surpassing the Tories for the first time since 2002 in a historic milestone.
The party was able to overtake the Tories after Rishi Sunak’s party suffered losses across the country, with six switching directly to Labour.
By Friday evening, Labour had won more than 450 seats and 19 councils, while the Tories lost over 978 seats and 47 councils. The Labour wins came in battleground areas the party had been targeting including Medway in Kent and Swindon in the South West – both of which have been run by the Tories for the past 20 years. In a further boost, the party also won several councils from no overall control including Plymouth, Stoke-on-Trent, Blackpool, Middlesbrough, Broxtowe, High Peak and North East Derbyshire.
Throughout the day, the party continued to count successes in councils including Dover, East Staffordshire and Bracknell Forest, which it snatched from the Conservatives.
Some of its later gains were in Erewash and South Ribble, which it took from the Conservatives – the latter for the first time since 1999.
The results came in stark contrast to the Conservatives, who witnessed a slate of councils fall from their grip and into no overall control – a theme that has dominated the party’s evening.
On Friday evening, it lost a host of councils including Surrey Heath to the Lib Dems. Wealden, Staffordshire Moorlands and Central Bedfordshire all switched to no overall control.
The party also crashed to defeat in East Suffolk, Broadland, and Newark & Sherwood.
The losses were preceded by Tamworth, Brentwood, North West Leicestershire, Hertsmere and East Lindsey, which all fell to no overall control overnight.
That pattern continued into Friday after losses across the country including in South Kesteven, South Gloucestershire, Welwyn Hatfield, Maidstone, Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, West Devon, North Warwickshire and Tewkesbury.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer celebrated the gains as showing that his party was on course to win a majority at the next general election.
Speaking from Medway, the jubilant Labour leader told supporters: “You didn’t just get it over the line, you blew the doors off. We’re having fantastic results across the country. Make no mistake, we are on course for a Labour majority at the next general election.”

Leave a Reply