Friday results

Results overnight showed Labour gaining 470 seats, Conservatives losing 279 and the Lib Dems losing 129 seats. Labour have gained overall control of 22 councils, the Conservatives have lost 12 councils and gained 1, the Lib Dems have lost one of the four they defended overnight.

Council elections are always a bit of a silly expectations game – of the media and commentariat setting rather artificial targets for the parties, the parties themselves trying to massively downplay expectations and set their opponents impossible ones and then saying whether they have done well or badly based on them. We still have about 80 councils still to declare, but so far it looks as though Labour should get over 700 gains which should be seen as a success. Whether it will be reported as an untrammelled success or not will probably depend on what happens in London.

The Conservatives avoided big losses last year with the Lib Dems taking the brunt. This year the pain is being shared more, and the Tories are seeing much more typical mid-term losses. The BBC’s Projected National Share so far is CON 31%, LAB 39%, LDEM 16%, Others 14% – Labour are up three points since last year, the Conservatives down 4 points, the Lib Dems unchanged (the Lib Dems are doing significantly better than in national polls, but the Lib Dems typically do significantly better in local elections than national ones!)

Looking under the topline figures, the regional pattern is not much different from last year, so comparing to 2008 when the seats were last fought Labour have done much better in the North than the South (the Con to Lab swing in the South is about 10 points, in the North about 15). That said, Labour have done well in the more Labour-ish parts of the South like Southampton and Norwich. Also worth noting is how well UKIP have done. Where they stood, they got around 13% (in wards they contested last time, they were up by an average of 5%). However, because their vote was evenly spread out they have been rewarded with very few actual seats on the back of it.

Today we have the rest of the English and Welsh council, all the councils in Scotland and – of course – the London mayor results.

1,180 Responses to “Friday results”

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  1. @ Max,
    From your post 5.29pm yesterday. Quote:
    “I agree with most of your predictions, I’d say Lab gains in high 400?s ie 490 and the like, cant see the tories making huge losses as some will be offset by the LD collapse.”
    So YOU predicted +490 Labour Gains. Labour have far exceeded your expectations.

    Sorry Max, I didn’t notice your “nodding along with someone else’s post” in the text.

    Can anyone think up a good emoticon for “nodding along with someone else’s post”?

  2. Boris continuing to do worse than expected. He’s on 46% but on the 2008 results he ought to be over 50%.

    Even if Boris wins, a very tight victory will take the gloss off for the Tories, and Boris losing narrowly will be a nightmare for Cameron – an at-a-loose-end Boris who significantly outperformed the rest of teh Tory party…

  3. First results from Aberdeen point to total Lib Dem meltdown:

    lost *** both *** their seats in the Dyce, Bucksburn and Danestone ward. (one to LAB, one to SNP)

    Barney Crockett (remember him?), the Labour group leader, topped the poll.

  4. @ AW,

    I’ll take a 10% swing down south, thank you very much.

    I think if Boris does win, it will be a silver lining on a dark cloud. A bit like when Ken won in 2004 – it didn’t really mask the dismal showing for Labour, but it gave TB one thing to shout about.

  5. @ Robin,

    Are you comparing like-with-like returns. Would be VERY interested if he’s 4% down on 2008.

    I must say I am seriously heartened by the Lab showing in the council elections as the Tories have under-polled what I would have expected – i.e. lots of stay at home Tories.

    BUT, we’ve had plenty of polling showing Boris ahead, so we have a much better idea of what turnout might be for London. If Labour manage to super-charge their vote and get it out (esp in Tower Hamlets etc) and Tories stay at home in the suburbs and the shires, there may be a chance.

  6. @ROBIN

    Really hoping your readings are correct. I’m holding out a shred of hope…

  7. Morning all.

    Currently celebrating waking up to a Staffordshire (where I live) devoid of BNP councillors.

  8. @ The Lorax,

    I think this is something that we can all, whatever our colour, rejoice in. Brilliant news.

  9. @Robin

    Do your results go on first preference or second preference? For example, polls showing a big drip from tories to ukip, ie UKip came 7th in 2008, but could come 4th in 2012, so Im assuming a lot of 1st pref boris votes went UKIP, in fact, mine did, I voted ukip 1st, boris 2nd. But a lot, not all, but most of those votes will go back to boris is the 2nd round. Just wondering how your results calculate this 4% drop, if its in the 2nd round thats more serious than the 1st round

  10. Eddie Barnes, The Scotsman’s political editor on Twitter: “Mood among labour people at Glasgow count is one of paranoid optimism. But no hiding they are now v confident. #sc12”

    Frank O’Donnell, Evening News editor on Twitter: “Labour figures in Glasgow increasingly confident of holding the council. “I think we can predict a Lab council in Glasgow now,” says one.”

    David Maddox, Westminster correspondent, on Twitter: “If labour still emerges as the biggest party in Glasgow that will be taken as a major win for Miliband given the party’s problems #sc12”

  11. @Adrian B

    I’m taking the 2008 results, and using the appropriate proportion of each assembly constituency whose votes have been verified, then totalling the projected votes for each constituency.

    Obviously there’s scope for error – if there have been substantial changes in the electorate or if there have been differential changes in turnout then these estimates would be affected – but it’s interesting all the same.

  12. Boris now 45% to Ken’s 39% on the (terribly sluggish) London Elects site…

  13. SNP have gained two councillors in Coatbridge North & Glenboig ward, in the key target council of North Lanarkshire.. The council is the last Labour majority* in Scotland and a key SNP target.

    *(Glasgow became Lab Min recently due to defections)

  14. The 10 point Boris lead suggested earlier has narrowed to 6% on first preferences.

    London Elects is still showing Grn/Ind/LD on 4% each so how those second preferences break will be crucial. In answer to the question Thatcher or Blair? I did hear Benita say Blair, but I don’t know if that reflects her support. The more clearly defined Right others are down to 3% combined.

  15. Glasgow turnout low mid 30s

  16. @Max

    The only available info is for first prefs. 2nd prefs from UKIP might have an affect, but only in a very tight race – they’re registering 2% right now, against 0.9% in 2008. Of course, if that additional 1.1% goes back to Boris it could make all the difference.

    Latest update – actual% (projected for 2008)

    Boris – 45% (50.2%)
    Ken – 39% (29.9%)

  17. BBC reporting Greens doing well at expense of LDs in London. If these votes also have Ken as 2nd pref could be V interesting and V close.

    Don’t think it will be 6% lead predicted by the last poll.

  18. @Robin

    So is your results coming from assembly votes and using that to predict the mayoral race? We know the Tories will be down in that and Labour up, but the mayoral result won’t be that.

  19. @Max

    No. They come from the constituency breakdown of the Mayoral vote in 2008.

  20. Looks like an LD meltdown in London – Greens ahead of them widely across the central boroughs for the Assembly vote.

    Good night generally for the Greens – net gains and a vote share of around 9% where they stood.

    UKIP have done better on vote share but are not translating that into seats.

    Labour strategy to unseat Greens looks to have failed – I like this tweet from

    Kirklees Newsome. Cllr Andy Cooper 2354, Lab 1552, Con 344, libs 76. A fantastic hold. Lab threw the kitchen sink and Corrie stars at this!

  21. Orkney first Scottish council to complete counting: 21 IND councillors… out of 21 ! :)


  22. @robin

    I don’t really understand, best not try and explain it, I will just follow the results coming through.

    So far Siobhan Benita and Jenny Jones are both ahead of Brian Paddick

  23. 1st Green councillor returned in Scotland today is former MSP Mark Ruskell, now a new councillor in Stirling. 1st Grn on that council.

  24. correction : 1st Grn on that council *** to my knowledge *** (ie. I haven’t checked historic results)

  25. Anne Robertson has announced she will stand down as head of the Lib Dem/Conservative coalition in Aberdeenshire.

  26. Disapointing for UKIP in London, I thought they would do better, I gave them 2 of my 4 votes. (1st pref and London wide assembly )

  27. Nick P has been suspiciously quiet since the polls closed… I’m sure it’s nothing the Electoral Commission need to be concerned about though.

  28. SNP gain in Aberdeenshire – Central Buchan ward

  29. London Mayor latest:

    Boris 46% (cf 50.3% projected from 2008)
    Ken 39% (30.0%)


    I am still checking in. Are you missing me?

  31. I am flitting between various websites and I agree with Robin… It’s starting to look like Ken may be doing better than the polls had indicated.

    Crucially, although Boris is still ahead, the area with the biggest proportion of votes tallied so far is untra-Tory Bexley & Bromley (59%) and the lowest tally so far is pro-Labour London North East (8%).

    Another straw in the wind: Here is Ealing & Hillingdon division Boris and Ken are currently tied. This division tends to reflect voting in the capital as a whole.

    If I did not have the benefit of the pre-election mayoral polls to go on, I would now be declaring this “too close to call”.

    It’s interesting that the media are not picking up on any of this… BBC News are simply pointing out that Boris is out-perfoming his GLA candidates. However, that is not enough.

    Does Anthony have any thoughts on this? Maybe me and Robin are getting over-excited over nothing, but I’m trying to look at the statistics from first principles and there’s simply not enough hard data to go on yet.

  32. Those constituencies that returned a Conservative at the last Assembly elections have counted 43% of their votes, while those that returned a Labour candidate have only counted 27% – so some scope for Ken to pull it back towards the end. However looking at the voting patterns for Mayor in each ‘Red’ Constituency, Boris does considerably better than the Conservative Assembly candidate so it’s going to be tough. Depends how those 2nd preferences break. Boris still the clear favourite, but not as clear cut as it looked previously.

  33. PNS been revised down for Labour to 38% so a 7 point lead. That’s a lot less than National polls are actually showing, which is around 10% Could it be that telling a pollster you will vote labour and actually voting Labour are 2 seperate things entirely. Also Local elections are traditionally protest votes, so if it was a GE, is it plausible that Labour’s lead would be narrower. For example, Ukip coming home to try and stop Labour actually gaining national government.

  34. @MAX – basically, if you look at the results counted so far, and which constituencies they are from, and compare that to how those constituencies voted in 2008, its looking like it will be a lot closer than the final poll for mayoral race.
    I expect Boris to win by under 2% currently.

  35. @Robin Hood

    “Another straw in the wind: Here is Ealing & Hillingdon division Boris and Ken are currently tied. This division tends to reflect voting in the capital as a whole.”

    This is a separate confirmation of what my approach is telling us. In 2008 Boris was 11% ahead on 1st prefs. If we give Ken the missing 5% for Paddick (4% instead of 9%), then a current neck-and-neck result represents a 3-3.5% swing against Boris.

    I see a headline tomorrow – “London holds its nose and votes for Ken”! :-)

  36. At last I can start looking at the London Mayoral count, as I’ve been saying for days I think it is very close, the Evening Standard has clouded everyone’s view of Ken’s chances.
    The Labour People last night in the pub were saying it will be all on second counts as its too close to call.

  37. @Max

    Labour *always* does ~3% worse in local elections than in general elections. That is particularly clear when the two elections run side by side, but is generally just as true when comparing to national VI. The projected share of vote corresponds to a 10 point lead, in line with what the polls are saying. (Ditto, LDs generally do better than their national VI.)

  38. @ Max,

    Unless you are watching an entirely different election to the rest of us, people are exactly voting Labour again in actual elections.

    This is what is actually so gratifying – Lab have exceeded your expectation of 500 gains and are probably going to exceed 700. This is a really good night for Labour.

    NOT the spectacular breakthrough and it all might fade away without being capitalised on by EM, but this is exactly where you need to be 2 years into a first-term opposition. Whether we can be exactly where we want to be in 2014 is another question.

  39. Max – as per Anthony’s comments the LDs always do better in local Elections. (eg 2010 GE and same day locals)

    So Lab 38% LD 16% is consistent with a Lab poll in a notioinal GE tomorrow of over 40%.

    Is it only me that thinks DD should retire his grasp is poor imo, not biased just poor.

  40. Robin, why do you think that is?

  41. Clackmannanshire first mainland council to complete counting:

    Lab 8 (+1)
    SNP 8
    Con 1 (n/c)
    Oth 1 (n/c)
    LD 0 (-1)


  42. Frank Urquhart in Aberdeen: The Lib Dems’ already disastrous morning in Aberdeen continued into the early afternoon as Kate Dean, the accomplished former leader of the council, lost her seat in Kincorth and Loirston after 18 years in local government.

  43. @Joe

    I think it’s a reflection of the way FPTP works. There are many places where LDs don’t have enough support to win the constituency, and so lose votes to the big parties in general elections. But in specific wards in local elections they are strong enough to win and retain their support.

    Whether this effect will start to unwind now that the LDs are a party of government, I don’t think it’s possible to know – there simply isn’t any evidence one way or the other. But for the moment it looks like it is still the case.

  44. Good Afternoon.

    Jeremy Vine’s analysis of the mid term votes in comparison with the following General Elections is very sobering for the Labourite Chablis and Boll drinkers.

    7% deficit is recoverable for a Government

  45. @Chrislane

    let them have their moment, don’t spoil their day with facts and reality, they’ve not had something to celebrate in such a long time.

  46. Last London mayor update for a couple of hours…

    With approx 43% of first prefs counted:

    Boris: 45% (50.3% from 2008 projection)
    Ken: 39% (30.0%)

  47. Chrislane – “7% deficit is recoverable for a Government”

    Hmmm… funny how the Con-Lib government in London is 7 points down, but the SNP government in Edinburgh is doing just fine, and probably set to make steady gains.

    Why the big difference in how these 2 governments are performing?

    Clue: competence.

  48. Labour saying didn’t get Ken’s vote out. Do they know something we don’t? Or are they just pessimists?

  49. I think the results were overall quite reasonable but not exceptional for every party. Everything is still to play for I think all would agree.

    If the tories have lost london thats really bad news to be honest as its been built up as our saving grace having lost 100s of councillors. Having said that, if we do win its really more a disaster (in itself not as a reflection on EM) for Labour than they would care to admit.

  50. Inverclyde has just finished counting. This was one of the few Lib Dem stronghold in the West central Scotland, as recently as 5 years ago. Just look at it now:

    Lab 10 (+2)
    SNP 8 (+1)
    LD 2 (-1)
    Con 1 (n/c)
    Oth 1 (-1)
    Lib 0 (-1)


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