11 May 2021 | NEWS

Last Thursday saw a plethora of elections take place across the United Kingdom. These included Police and Crime Commissioner races, London Mayoral and Assembly votes plus local elections that had been delayed for a year due to the coronavirus outbreak, elections for the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Senedd, a by-election in Hartlepool, plus the originally scheduled local and combined authority races. Wolves of Westminster provides a summary here of all the big results.

Hartlepool by-election

Hartlepool Borough Hall
  • The Conservatives gained the seat from Labour.
  • Jill Mortimer, previously a local councillor in Hambleton and candidate for Leeds East saw a 23-point increase in voter share and 16-point swing.
  • Hartlepool has been Labour ever since the constituency was created in 1974, with 1959 being the last time the predecessor constituency of The Hartlepools voted blue.

Scottish Parliament

The debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament
  • The SNP fell one seat short of a majority, with a net gain of one seat since the 2016 elections.
  • The Tories had no net difference to their 31 seats, though Labour lost 2, putting them 9 seats behind, despite some suggestions that they could return to being the second-largest party in Holyrood.
  • Despite the Parliament remaining under nationalist control, unionists managed a small majority of voter share in constituency seats (50.4%).
  • Nationalists secured a small majority (50.1%) in the regional vote share.
  • Alex Salmond’s Alba Party and George Galloway’s All for Unity failed to secure any seats.
  • Neither Labour nor the Tories won a single of their target seats, though the SNP took 3 of their ten target seats.
  • This election saw the highest turnout for any Scottish Parliament election.

Welsh Senedd

Mark Drakford and Welsh Labour did better than predictions anticiapted
  • Welsh Labour outperformed expectations and picked up 30 seats, a net gain of one.
  • Despite some polling suggesting First Minister Mark Drakeford could lose his Cardiff West seat, he increased by 12.8 percentage points and won through with a large majority.
  • The Welsh Conservatives made a net gain of five seats, their best performance since the creation of the devolved legislature.
  • UKIP, the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party, and Propel were left with no party representation.
  • Labour and the Tories both picked up one target seat.
  • Plaid Cymru picked up none of their target seats, with former party leader Leanne Wood losing her Rhondda seat to Labour, though they had a net gain of one seat.

London Mayor/Assembly

Sadiq Khan won a second term at City Hall, but it was not the landslide some had predicted
  • Sadiq Khan won a second term, though Shaun Bailey performed better than expected, being 4.7 points behind in the first round, before losing in the second as Mr Khan’s vote share went from 40% to 55.2%.
  • Liberal Democrat candidate Luisa Porritt, the party’s second candidate after Siobhan Benita pulled out due to the year long-delay, secured just 4.4%, making it the third London mayoral election in a row when the party’s candidate lost their deposit.
  • YouTuber Niko Omiliana was in fifth place, ahead of actor Laurence Fox and podcaster Brian Rose.
  • Satirical candidate Count Binface was in ninth place, ahead of Mandu Reid of the Woman’s Equality Party, Piers Corbyn (the brother of former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn), Peter Gammons of UKIP, and David Kurten of the Heritage Party, amongst others.

Police and Crime Commissioners

Stock image of a police officer
  • The Conservatives were the only party to make net gains, with net losses from Labour and Plaid Cymru.
  • Labour took North Wales PCC from Plaid, with the Tories taking Cheshire Constabulary, Cleveland Police, Derbyshire Constabulary, Humberside Police, Lancashire Constabulary and Nottinghamshire Police from Labour. They had three gains from previous independents.

Combined authority mayors

Tracy Brabin won the metro mayor race for West Yorkshire (Credit: Channel 4 News / YouTube)
  • Labour took Cambridge and Peterborough and West of England from the Conservatives.
  • In Tees Valley, Tory Mayor Ben Houchen increased his vote share from 51.1% to 72.8%. In this race, he only faced a Labour candidate, whereas in 2017, he also faced the Liberal Democrats and UKIP.
  • Andy Street, the Tory mayor for the West Midlands, saw off the challenge from Labour’s former Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne, winning with 54 points, a 3.6-point increase.
  • Tracy Brabin, a former Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary and Minister, became the first West Yorkshire Metro Mayor. She subsequently resigned as MP for Batley & Spen, triggering an upcoming by-election. Britain Elects have the Tories on a 0.3% lead in the seat, based on ward data for local elections.

Local elections

Boris Johnson had a successful night in the local elections
  • The Conservatives were the big winner of the day, winning control of 13 extra councils with 235 extra seats.
  • Labour lost control of 8 councils and lost 326 seats.
  • The Liberal Democrats had a mixed day, becoming the largest party in Stockport although they have not yet formed a coalition to take control of the administration, and made gains in pro-Brexit Sunderland. Although they saw more losses elsewhere, they had a net gain of seven seats.
  • The Green Party of England and Wales had a net gain of 88 seats.
  • Headline results included the Tories losing a majority in Cambridgeshire, but winning a majority in Nottinghamshire, Dudley, Amber Valley, Harlow, Basildon and Northumberland.
  • Labour lost control in Durham for the first time in a century, putting the Council into no overall control, they retained control in Sunderland while losing their Council leader.

What happened next?

Credit: Angela Rayner / Twitter
  • Khalid Mahmood, Shadow Defence Procurement Minister, resigned, writing in Policy Exchange: “In the past decade, Labour has lost touch with ordinary British people.”
  • Angela Rayner (pictured), the Labour Deputy Leader and Party Chair, was first to go in a re-shuffle, which prompted an outcry from party members. However, Shadow Scotland Secretary Ian Murray said she was being promoted, and she eventually returned as Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, opposite Michael Gove.
  • Anneliese Dodds was replaced as Shadow Chancellor by Rachel Reeves, Alan Campbell replaced Nick Brown as Opposition Chief Whip, and Thangam Debbonaire replaced Valerie Vaz as Shadow Leader of the House of Commons.
  • Nicola Sturgeon has pushed ahead with calls for a second referendum on Scottish independence, which Boris Johnson appears for now at least to be unwilling to give.
  • It was reported around noon today in The Times that Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s Parliamentary Private Secretary, Carolyn Harris, has resigned following allegations that she had been spreading rumours about Angela Rayner’s private life. A senior Labour figure is reported to have said: “She was briefing salacious rumours about Angela over the weekend and got caught. She’s a total wrecking ball and has done him a lot of harm in PLP.”
Gursimran Hans is a student studying Diplomacy and Foreign Policy at City, University of London. He has an undergraduate degree in Journalism with Study Abroad from City and Hong Kong Baptist University. He was previously on the overnight news team at The Daily Express and a member of the London Borough of Redbridge’s Fairness Commission.

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