After a long night of counting, victories in the key marginal boroughs of Wandsworth and Barnet are big wins for Keir Starmer’s Labour Party.
However, the big shock in the Capital has come from Westminster, where a council held by the Conservatives since its formation in 1964 has turned Labour for the first time. Coupled with a reasonable performance in “Red Wall” seats Labour will be content with the local election results as they are. The overall net gain of councillors might initially appear slim 38 (as of writing), however it should be noted that the majority of those seats are held and therefore defended by Labour, it has always meant that a high volume of gains would have been extremely unlikely.
Tory MPs will be less troubled by the results, the Conservatives suffered 124 losses across the country (as of writing) and the symbolic loss of Westminster, Barnet and Wandsworth will be keenly felt. No doubt a large portion of these losses will be chalked up to “Party Gate”, however spiralling energy bills and the rising cost of living will have no doubt compounded the Government’s misery.
The risks of a leadership challenge to Boris Johnson are now higher than ever and all eyes will be on the Chair of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady. Crucially it will come to whether Conservative MPs think the Prime Minister is vulnerable. If they believe dissatisfaction towards the Prime Minister has come to a head, a leadership challenge may well materialise.
The smaller parties had mixed result, the Liberal Democrats managed to perform well in contests with the Conservatives maintaining controlled councils such as Kingston and Sutton. However, in contests with Labour they performed less well, losing traditional Liberal seats in Southwark and Camden.
A result which may yet prove traumatic for Labour will be the Tower Hamlets Mayoral count that will take place today. There, John Biggs is running against the former Independent Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman. This is a contest filled with allegations of voter manipulation and whilst Labour are confident they can see of the challenge, the result is far from clear.
You can find a full tally of the declared results in each London Borough below, of course if there are any boroughs in which you have a particular interest, get in touch with us – we are ready to discuss the results in depth.