Yesterday’s elections saw Labour gain control of councils in towns and cities across the country including Dudley and Birmingham (detailed ward-by-ward analysis of the Birmingham vote follows>). In London, Boris Johnson is set to claim a second term as mayor; and Liverpool is waking up to its first democratically elected mayor. Voters in other big cities faced referenda on adopting elected mayors. Manchester, Coventry, Nottingham and Bradford all said ‘No’. The results of the mayor vote in Birmingham will be known later today. The ‘No’ campaign is, however, expected to win.
Towns and cities from Carlisle to Southampton and Plymouth to Great Yarmouth went Labour as the party gained more than 400 council seats nationwide. In Dudley, Labour gained 13 seats and the Green Party won their first seat on the council. Labour also won control of local councils in Cannock Chase and Nuneaton and, across the country, in Reading, the Wirral, Sefton, Exeter, Harlow and Norwich. Nationally, the share of votes was 39% for Labour; 31% Conservative; 16% Liberal Democrat; and 11% for other parties including UKIP and the Greens.
In Birmingham, Labour’s dominance was even more complete: winning 29 of the 40 seats up for election and unseating leading figures in the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition including:
Martin Mullaney – Lib Dem cabinet member for Culture DEFEATED by more than a thousand votes in Moseley and Kings Heath
Ayoub Khan –Lib Dem cabinet member for Local Services DEFEATED in Aston as part of a wave of 9 seats in Birmingham lost by the Lib Dems to Labour
Les Lawrence – Conservative cabinet member for Children and Young People’s Services DEFEATED in Northfield by just 60 votes (in a ward in which UKIP took over 350 votes).
Labour took an average of 51% of the votes across the city’s 40 wards. The Conservatives polled 24% of votes, the Liberal Democrats took 16%, the Greens just under 5% and UKIP just over 2%. Labour won 29 of the 40 seats, the Conservatives took 7 and the Liberal Democrats held on to 4. The new council in Birmingham is made up:
Lib Dem 15
Which means the Leader of the Labour group, Albert Bore, has a majority of 34.
(Download ward analysis of election results in Birmingham : 2012-elections-birmingham1 - as an Excel spreadsheet)
Democratically Elected Mayors
The other question for voters in larger cities, including Birmingham and Coventry, was on the issue of elected mayors. In Coventry, people voted about 2 to 1 (64%-36%) against having a democratically elected mayor. In Nottingham, the result was 57% to 43% against an elected mayor. In Manchester, the vote was 53% to 47% in favour of staying with the current system under which the council is led by a Leader elected by councillors, rather than by citizens. The vote in Birmingham will be announced today, but the only question at stake seems likely to be the margin by which the ‘No to a Mayor’ campaign has won.