UK News

North East elections – a bad night for Labor as its ‘red wall’ continues to crumble UK News

Labor suffered a series of reprehensible results on a big election night which saw history be made in Hartlepool and the position of Leader Sir Keir Starmer called into question by some.

Labor lost nine seats in Sunderland, two in Newcastle and four in South Tyneside, but lost none in Gateshead.

The party maintained control of the council, defending 19 seats, while the Liberal Democrats held five. Just over a third of the seats have been contested this year.

Results for the Councils of North Tyneside and Durham, as well as the Mayor of North Tyneside and the Police and Crime Commissioners of the Durham and Northumbria Forces are expected over the next two days.

The big story at Newcastle was not the results but the looming fight for leadership.

As the votes were counted at Northumbria University’s Sport Central, board chief Nick Forbes faces a leadership challenge next Monday from a rival and one of its former members. of the firm, Nick Kemp.

Councilor Kemp confirmed his intention to challenge the leadership, but declined to comment further.

Councilor Forbes said, “I look forward to presenting my case to the AGM. We elect our leader every year.

“I have both strong delivery experience and ambitious ideas for the future to bring to the Labor Group.”

The city’s ruling party, which still enjoys a strong council majority, saw two seats west of Newcastle fall to the Newcastle Independents Party.

Newcastle City Council Labor Leader Nick Forbes
Newcastle City Council Labor Leader Nick Forbes

The most notable loss came in Denton and Westerhope, where one of Labor’s most important figures lost his place on the council.

Transport Authority cabinet member Arlene Ainsley was beaten by Newcastle Independents candidate Tracey Mitchell by a margin of over 400 votes.

It was a similar story in the nearby Lemington neighborhood, where Jason Smith was victorious.

Mr Smith, who founded the community-driven party formerly known as Newcastle First 10 years ago, attributed its success to the ‘Labor Party forgetting its roots and its heart’.

In the most dramatic vote of the night, the Tories took control of Northumberland by a majority of a county council seat, with Labor leader Susan Dungworth losing hers in one of the two tied ballots.

In 2017, the Tories lost overall control of the one-seat council, the final contest so close it had to be decided by drawing straws against the Liberal Democrats.

This year, the penultimate result, Berwick West with Ord, also ended in a tie. Instead of drawing straws, the candidates each placed their name in a ballot box and a ballot was drawn by the deputy returning officer, after multiple recounts confirmed that the two candidates had exactly the same number of votes.

Luck of the draw crowned Liberal Democrat Elizabeth Hunter, winner of the seat.

Overall, the Tories won six new seats, five from Labor and one from the Liberal Democrats, but lost five more.

The party now controls the council, with a total of 34 seats, up from 21. The Liberal Democrats have three, while seven seats are independently controlled.

The night also saw a historic victory for the Green Party, with two Green Councilors becoming the first in their party to sit on Northumberland County Council, representing Humshaugh and one of the Alnwick seats.

Under pressure - Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer
Under pressure – Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer

Among the shocks of the night was the loss of Hartley Ward: former Labor group leader Susan Dungworth lost control of the former mining village in another deadlock decided by lot, which gave the victory over curator David Ferguson.

In contrast, in 2017 Ms Dungworth held the Labor Party seat with 706 votes, compared to 433 for her Tory rival that year.

Newly re-elected Longhorsley council leader and adviser Glen Sanderson called the evening “the most interesting night” after the bizarre double draws, but said he was “extremely pleased” with his party’s victory.

He said: “I am extremely happy that we got a clear result and I am very proud of all of our candidates who led a positive and ambitious campaign. I think the public judged us on our record.”

In Sunderland, Labor council leader Graeme Miller called it a “bad night” after the party clings to power after half a century of domination.

Although Labor has lost nine councilors, it has retained overall control of the council as it still has 42 councilors, just four more than the 38 needed for a majority.

The Conservatives won six seats and the Liberal Democrats four. Just over a third of the seats were to be filled.

Councilor Miller said the defeats were caused by the “complete collapse” of UKIP as the Tories won their votes.

“We clearly saw that the deployment of the vaccine gave the …

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2021-05-07 12:02:17