The Conservative Party lost many seats on English councils last night as the first sets of results started coming in this morning (Friday, May 6) for the Local Elections 2022.

Labour made modest gains in many areas, taking control of some key London councils for example, whilst the Liberal Democrats made progress in traditionally Conservative areas and took Hull City Council from Labour.

In a particular surprise Labour won the London council of Westminster for the very first time and took the borough of Wandsworth away from the Tories who have held it since 1978.

As reported by the BBC, with just under half the results in, the Tories are on track to lose about 250 seats across England, according to polling expert Sir John Curtice.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Labour councillors celebrating the results at Peterborough (PA)Labour councillors celebrating the results at Peterborough (PA)

Other major developments included:

  • Labour gained Southampton from the Conservatives.
  • The Tories lost Worcester to no overall control.
  • The Conservatives lost West Oxfordshire, which contains David Cameron’s former Witney constituency, to no overall control.
  • Voters in Bristol decided to abolish the post of mayor in a referendum.
  • The Conservatives held majorities with reduced seats on councils, including those in the Midlands area of England such as Redditch, Amber Valley, and Dudley
  • Labour kept control of councils with lower majorities, including Wolverhampton, Salford and Coventry, where its vote has been historically strong

Has 'Partygate' affected voting results?

Under Borish Johnson's leadership as Prime Minister the Conservatives have faced a huge amount of scandals, with the largest being over the 'partygate' scandal during lockdown, which may have dented voter belief in their ability and affected the performance in the local elections.

John Mallinson, leader of Carlisle City Council hit out after Labour took control of the new Cumberland authority which will replace it.

He told the BBC: “I think it is not just partygate, there is the integrity issue.

“Basically I just don’t feel people any longer have the confidence that the Prime Minister can be relied upon to tell the truth.”

In Portsmouth, where the Tories lost four seats, Simon Bosher the leader of the Conservative group said Mr Johnson should “take a good, strong look in the mirror” because “those are people that are actually bearing the brunt on the doorstep of behaviour of what’s been going on in Westminster”.

Ravi Govindia, leader of the Wandsworth Tories, said: “Let’s not be coy about it, of course national issues were part of the dilemma people were facing.”