Smith Square Special: Election results and what they mean

Mayoral Results

As widely predicted, Sadiq Khan (Labour) won his second term as Mayor of London rather comfortably. He won 55.5% of the popular vote after heading into a run-off with Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey. In third place was Green Party candidate, Sian Berry. Further down the scoresheet were the Liberal Democrats who lost their deposit after Luisa Porritt only managed to secure 4.4% of the vote.

After being written off by most journalists, politicians and even members of his own party, Shaun Bailey increased the Conservative vote share by 1.6% – an impressive feat considering the opposition.

After being announced as London’s new Mayor, Mr. Khan spoke of increasing divisions and inequalities as well as the need to rebuild from the pandemic.

Elsewhere in the country, Labour performed well in the 13 mayoral contests. With only Andy Street (West Midlands) and Ben Houchen (Tees Valley) winning their elections with the Conservative Party.

Police and Crime Commissioners

As counting continues in the national Police Crime Commissioner elections, it looks as if the Conservatives have performed very well.

The most dramatic moment thus far has been the disbarring of PCC Conservative candidate Jonathon Seed (Swindon & Wiltshire) after historic driving offences came to light. If he wins the vote, the election will have to be held again.

Hartlepool by-election

Jill Mortimer’s election as the Conservative MP for Hartlepool, following the resignation of Labour MP Mike Hill, is a decisive win for the Prime Minister and a vote of confidence in his Government.

For the defeated Labour Party, many are beginning to question Sir Keir Starmer’s position as party leader.

The Left, feeling disillusioned by Jeremy Corbyn’s successor, are eager for change, judging this result as a direct reflection on Starmer’s leadership. Those closest to Starmer stand resolute, accepting this defeat and cautioning that it will take time to earn back the trust of voters in previous red wall seats.

Labour narrowly held on to Hartlepool at the 2019 general election, after the pro-Brexit vote split between the Conservatives and the Brexit Party. Both Labour and the Conservatives had been fighting for the 25% of the vote achieved by the now weakened Reform Party (previously the Brexit Party). The swing towards the Conservatives reflects voter apathy towards Labour and Hartlepool now joins several other red wall constituencies to change colour from red to blue.

Local council results

The Conservatives have made significant gains across England, gaining 13 councils and an additional 235 councillors. In contrast, Labour lost control of 8 councils and 326 councillors. The national picture now makes good reading for the Conservatives; they control 63 councils, Labour 44 and the Liberal Democrats, 7. 29 councils have no one party winning a majority.

The Conservatives made strong gains in the North of England, depriving Labour control of Durham County Council and winning control in Northumberland and Pendle. Labour did have some success in the South of England, retaining control in Oxford, Reading and Slough. They also polled strongly amongst inner-city areas, winning healthy majorities in councils in London, Manchester and Liverpool.

Devolved administrations

In Scotland, the SNP fell one short of an overall majority, winning 64 seats. However, the pro-independence Scottish Greens won 8 seats resulting in a pro-independence alliance within Holyrood. The Conservatives remain as the second largest party and remain on 31 seats, whilst Labour lost two seats reducing their tally to 22. The results are likely to cause further tension between the SNP in Holyrood and the Conservatives in Westminster, especially considering Michael Gove on Sunday refused to rule out the UK government blocking legislation related to a referendum in court.

In Wales, Labour won 30 of 60 seats in the Senedd, matching their best-ever performance. Like the Conservatives in England and SNP in Scotland, incumbent governments have benefitted from the success of the vaccine rollout and loosening of restrictions. UKIP, who had 7 seats before the election, were wiped out. The Conservatives won 16 seats, an increase of 5, whilst Plaid Cymru won 13 seats and the Liberal Democrats won one.

Charlie Souster Account Executive

Benedict Croft Researcher

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