Building back bluer as Tories continue to make gains across England

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Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

More than half the results from Thursday’s English council elections have now been announced with Conservatives having gained 165 councillors and the Green Party having gained 37. The Liberal Democrats have lost 27 councillors and Labour have so far lost 157 council seats across the country.

The rest of the results, as well as those for mayoral and police and crime commissioner contests, will continue to come in over the weekend.

Among the details so far – the Conservatives have gained control of Pendle, Maidstone, Cornwall, Nottinghamshire, Basildon, Northumberland, Dudley, Nuneaton and Bedworth councils. They have also taken control of of Harlow council in Essex, from Labour.

Conservatives also won the Hartlepool by-election, turning the constituency blue for the first time since the constituency was formed in 1974. In an historic defeat for Labour, Hartlepool voted for the Tory candidate Jill Mortimer by 15,529 votes to Labour’s 8,589.

Other good news for the Conservatives includes Ben Houchen being re-elected as mayor of Tees Valley, receiving 73% of the vote and a swing to the Conservatives of 23%. A delighted Mr Houchen said there was “pride returning” to the area.

Polling expert Sir John Curtice said: “what was once traditional Labour territory” in north-eastern England had “now been well and truly painted blue.”

The Conservatives continue to hold Tory strongholds such Devon, Leicestershire, Debyshire, Thurrock, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

PM Boris Johnson described results declared so far as “very encouraging” for the Conservatives.

The Prime Minister added:

“I think that’s really because we have been focusing, as a government, on our priorities, the people’s priorities, and bouncing back from the pandemic as much as we can and getting through it.”

More results, including those for mayoral and police and crime commissioner contests, will continue to come in over the weekend.

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