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Stunning Local Election Upsets: Labour Triumphs and Tory Turmoil, Yet Reform Party Looms as a Real Threat

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Local election outcomes: Even Blair's Labour didn't achieve this stunning upset – yet the genuine threat of Reform suggests challenges remain for Keir Starmer

The current landscape of the local election results is captivating. While Labour is at the forefront, it also finds itself competing for attention with seat increases secured by the Liberal Democrats, Greens, and various local independent candidates from the Conservatives, as analyzed by Professor Michael Thrasher.

Authored by Professor Michael Thrasher, elections analyst for Sky News

Friday, May 3, 2024, 10:

Overnight, the announced election results have unmistakably shown that the Conservative party is facing significant challenges.

Labour secured a victory in the Blackpool South by-election, marking the seventh such defeat for the incumbents in this parliamentary session.

In the recent municipal elections, the Conservative Party is experiencing significant losses, indicating that this might be among their poorest showings to date.

Despite the Conservatives losing council seats, Labour, under Sir Keir Starmer, has not significantly increased its share of the vote, remaining roughly at the same level as in the previous year's May elections.

Stay updated on local elections: Live coverage and incoming results

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The depiction of the fluctuations in net seat changes is fascinating.

Labour is at the forefront, yet it finds itself competing for attention with the Liberal Democrats, Greens, and various local independents who have all won seats at the expense of the Conservatives.

Detailed analysis of shifts in voting percentages suggests that the growing backing for the Reform Party is genuine and could pose a significant threat to the Conservative Party in the upcoming general election.

Initial outcomes from Sunderland, where Reform presented candidates across all 25 wards, illustrate this point. The drop in the Conservative vote nearly directly reflected the gains made by Reform.

The Conservative Party should feel fortunate that Reform is only vying for approximately 300 out of the over 2,500 seats up for grabs.

In Newcastle, the situation was unique as Reform chose not to run any candidates.

In this area, the Labour Party saw a decrease by two seats, while the Green Party increased their count by two. Additionally, the Conservatives achieved an uncommon victory. The Greens showed notable advancement in their vote share.

Sky's plan for covering the election – tracai-allcreator.com">king details

Friday: Starting at 10am, main political host Sophy Ridge and lead anchor Mark Austin will be accompanied by political chief Beth Rigby and Sam Coates for the entire day, along with economics and data chief Ed Conway and Professor Michael Thrasher.

Friday evening: Join Sophy Ridge from 7pm to 9pm for a special edition of the Politics Hub, where she will provide comprehensive analysis and insights into the local election results.

This weekend, join Sophy Ridge for a special installment of the Politics Hub, airing Saturday from 7 to 9 PM. Then, tune in to Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips as he reviews the week's events, broadcasting from 8:30 to 10 AM.

How can you tune in? Access it on Freeview channel 233, Sky channel 501, Virgin channel 603, BT channel 313, as well as on YouTube. Additionally, live streaming is available on the Sky News website and app. You can also view it live here and on YouTube.

The podcast "Electoral Dysfunction," hosted by Beth Rigby, Jess Phillips, and Ruth Davidson, will be released on Friday. Meanwhile, "Politics at Jack and Sam's" will explore the significant implications of recent outcomes in relation to the upcoming general election on Sunday.

Additionally, you'll find up-to-date political news on our website's politics section.

Additionally, you can find the most recent updates on the political scene on our website's politics section.

However, indications of Labour's inconsistent performance emerged in South Tyneside, where its council majority of 22 seats was dramatically reduced to a mere two, following a loss of 10 seats to the Independents Group and the Green Party.

A prolonged dispute between local government officials and garbage collection staff typically does not end well for the ruling authority.

In Thurrock, a former Conservative-led council oversaw conditions that culminated in the local government declaring its de facto insolvency.

Seizing the opportunity to express their discontent, voters delivered a significant blow to the Conservative Party, which managed to retain only one of the 13 seats it was defending. Labour capitalized on this, gaining eight seats and making a comeback to power after being out for eleven years.

Stay updated on the most recent developments in the UK and internationally by tuning into Sky News.

In the initial by-election after the 2019 general election, the Conservative Party unexpectedly secured a victory in Hartlepool, marking an uncommon instance where the governing party captured a seat from the opposition. This event coincided with the 2021 local council elections, during which the Conservatives also achieved a majority in the Hartlepool council.

In the latest election cycle, political fortunes reversed as the Conservatives experienced a loss in seats, while Labour took back control of the council in Hartlepool.

Explore further: Visual breakdown of the local election outcomes

Boris Johnson denied entry at polling site

The Conservatives successfully maintained their hold on Broxbourne Council, a stronghold they've controlled since its inception 51 years ago. However, they faced a setback in North East Lincolnshire, losing their 12-seat majority after Labour gained six seats and independents took two additional seats.

The region, encompassing the newly formed Grimsby and Cleethorpes constituency where the Conservatives reportedly hold a 23-point lead, could likely see a tight race.

In a surprising turn of events in Rushmoor, Hampshire, Labour secured its first victory of the night by taking a seat from the Conservatives.

For the first time since its inception in the early 1970s, the Labour Party has secured majority control of the council.

Even Tony Blair's New Labour never managed to accomplish that.

Mr. Starmer is likely to interpret this outcome as evidence that his party is competitive in southern England regions.

In the West Midlands, the town of Redditch shifted directly from Conservative to Labour control.

The Labour Party, which was closely trailing the governing Conservative Party prior to the election, capitalized on boundary adjustments and a comprehensive council election. This allowed them to secure an additional 10 seats, establishing a majority of 15 seats.

However, Labour is aware that Conservative difficulties do not always translate into advantages for them in certain areas.

In Peterborough, the Conservatives relinquished 13 seats, which were subsequently gained by independents, with smaller numbers going to Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and the Green Party.

Analysis: Starmer's Path to Downing Street Goes Through Blackpool

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It is also aware that it must overcome hurdles to construct a campaign capable of securing a general election victory.

In Harlow, out of the 33 available seats, the Conservatives secured 17 while Labour took 16, with the Conservatives experiencing some losses yet managing to retain a majority in the council.

Clearly, Labour is capitalizing on the Blackpool South outcome to boost its outlook for the upcoming general election. However, the results from the local elections so far suggest a more complex narrative.

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