Politics

Local elections 2022: counting begins after polls close in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – live updates | Local elections

Josh Halliday

Josh Halliday

One of the trickiest contests for Labour is in Sunderland, the place it dangers shedding management of the council for the primary time because it was based in 1974, says the Guardian’s North Of England correspondent Josh Halliday.

Labour has a majority of solely six councillors on the 75-seat authority, that means it might simply fall into no total management when ballots are counted.

Such a consequence can be an enormous blow to Keir Starmer, whose path to Downing Street depends in half on successful again voters in “red wall” areas the place Labour has been shedding help for years.

One Labour councillor I spoke to earlier stated he can be shocked if his celebration lost management of Sunderland metropolis council – however he sounded markedly extra downcast than after I requested him the identical question a fortnight in the past.

“It’s clearly going to be a very competitive election,” he stated. “I’d be surprised if we didn’t survive but that’s not to say it can’t happen.”

He added:

There are sufficient clues on the doorstep and judging by the size of the postal vote, that’s gone extraordinarily nicely and we’re getting a giant turnout. That stated, neither celebration may be overly assured about which manner many seats will go.

A Labour organiser predicted the council would fall into no total management. He stated the Conservatives had flooded the town with canvassers from throughout the area in latest days to strive safe a significant scalp on what may very well be a tough night time for Boris Johnson throughout the nation.

He stated:

Partygate doesn’t come up as a lot as you’d suppose and for many who have introduced it up they’ve stated issues like ‘You’re all as unhealthy as one another’ or ‘that’s politics’.

Another Labour councillor stated the council chief, Graeme Miller, was nervous about shedding his personal seat. She stated the canvassing had been “manic” in latest days as Labour tries to cling on.

Results from Sunderland are anticipated to be among the many first to come back in tonight.

Severin Carrell

Severin Carrell

And an replace from our correspondent Severin Carroll in Scotland, the place voters shall be electing greater than 1,220 councillors throughout all of Scotland’s 32 native authorities as soon as counting begins at 7am on Friday morning.

This election is unlikely to provide any shocks or seismic modifications: latest polls present the Scottish National celebration, which has been in energy in the devolved Scottish parliament for 15 years, nonetheless has a commanding lead at round 45% of the vote.

At nationwide stage, the principle story shall be whether or not the polls appropriately forecast Labour will come second, changing the Conservatives because the putative challengers to the SNP’s dominance.

Scotland’s first minister and Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon reacts as she is surprised by her husband and current SNP chief executive officer Peter Murrell, after casting their vote in local elections in Glasgow.
Scotland’s first minister and Scottish National Party (SNP) chief Nicola Sturgeon and her husband and present SNP chief government officer Peter Murrell, after casting their vote in Glasgow. Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

Tory help has been hit laborious by voter anger over the Partygate scandal at Downing Street, whereas some center floor pro-UK voters really feel comforted by Keir Starmer’s centrist management of UK Labour.

Scotland additionally makes use of the only transferrable vote system of proportional illustration, which makes it a lot tougher for a single celebration to win an outright majority. Most councils, together with the biggest cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, will both be run by coalitions or minority administrations. Others are dominated by independents.

In 2017, the SNP received 431 seats, the Tories took 276 after unexpectedly gaining 164 councillors, whereas Labour lost 133 seats to take solely 262 locations. Labour hopes to regain that lost floor and see its help attain round 25%, up from 20% in 2017.

While we look ahead to election outcomes, right here’s a quick recap of the scenario in Northern Ireland, the place the day’s most important elections – for the devolved authorities in Stormont – are happening though outcomes won’t start to come back in till in a while Friday.

Sinn Féin are predicted to turn out to be the biggest celebration in Stormont – that means a republican celebration would declare the publish of first minister for the primary time because the power-sharing deal set out in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

A victory wouldn’t change the stability of energy – the office of first minister and deputy are equal – and Sinn Féin is unlikely to achieve a majority however it might be an vital symbolical win for a celebration that was as soon as thought to be the political arm of the IRA.

One of the newest polls put Sinn Féin on 26%, the Democratic Unionist celebration (DUP) on 20% and the centrist Alliance on 14% with smaller nationalist and unionist events accounting for a lot of the relaxation.

Michelle O’Neill, Sinn Fein leader in Northern Ireland, leaves a polling station after casting her vote in Clonoe, Northern Ireland.
Sinn Féin Michelle O’Neill leaves a polling station after casting her vote in Clonoe. Photograph: Peter Morrison/AP

DUP chief Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has refused to say whether or not he’ll nominate a deputy first minister in the occasion of Sinn Féin claiming the highest office.

He has additionally stated his celebration won’t enter a brand new Stormont government except the federal government in Westminster takes motion on the Brexit protocol that noticed checks launched on items crossing the Irish Sea, successfully introducing a border between Northern Ireland and the remainder of the UK.

DUP first minister Paul Givan resigned over the difficulty in February, plunging the devolved authorities into renewed turmoil – the power-sharing association with Sinn Féin had been restored simply two years earlier.

Most voters in Northern Ireland favour remaining in the UK and Sinn Féin chief Michelle O’Neill has been cautious to not push the matter of Irish reunification throughout the election marketing campaign, as an alternative specializing in points such because the rising value of dwelling and well being care.

For these questioning what’s going on in Northern Ireland election tonight, counting doesn't start till tomorrow morning. So no outcomes tonight.

— Lisa O'Carroll (@lisaocarroll) May 5, 2022

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For these questioning what’s going on in Northern Ireland election tonight, counting does not start till tomorrow morning. So no outcomes tonight.

— Lisa O’Carroll (@lisaocarroll) May 5, 2022

An rapid referendum on reunification is due to this fact unlikely – however the celebration will definitely hope {that a} victory will give it momentum in the direction of that eventual objective.

Due to the voting system Northern Ireland makes use of – the only transferable vote (STV) proportional illustration electoral system – and the truth that counting doesn’t start till Friday morning outcomes are usually not instantly anticipated.

For extra in depth perception into the election in Northern Ireland, take a look at this dispatch written by the Guardian’s correspondent Rory Carroll earlier this week:

The Telegraph’s Christopher Hope is predicting a Labour victory in Wandsworth tonight, citing a “local Labour source”. If that’s the case it might be the primary time since 1974. Results are usually not anticipated till round 5 or 6am.

The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg can be reporting that the Tories appear “pretty sure” they’ve lost the council.

Local Labour supply: Wandsworth goes pink tonight #LocalElections22

— Christopher Hope📝 (@christopherhope) May 5, 2022

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Tories appear fairly positive that they’ve lost iconic Wandsworth council in SW London, and Barnet in North London, and even Westminster council danger

— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) May 5, 2022

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Tories appear fairly positive that they’ve lost iconic Wandsworth council in SW London, and Barnet in North London, and even Westminster council danger

— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) May 5, 2022

Rowena Mason

Rowena Mason

Labour had been downplaying expectations of big positive factors when polls closed however made the case that the celebration would present “steady progress”.

Anneliese Dodds, chair of the Labour celebration, stated:

We are pleased with the constructive marketing campaign we’ve run, based mostly on a sensible plan to sort out the price of dwelling disaster and the crime blighting our communities. Because we consider Britain deserves higher.

It’s going to be a protracted night time and there shall be ups and downs – we maintain nearly all of the seats up for election in England, so by no means anticipated huge positive factors.

These outcomes will present the progress we’ve made due to Keir’s management because the disastrous 2019 election consequence. Labour is a renewed and assured celebration, making headway in England, Scotland and Wales.

Liberal Democrat chief Ed Davey in the meantime stated he was “optimistic” that the celebration would achieve floor in areas throughout the blue wall, “where voters are fed up of being taken for granted by the Conservatives”.

After knocking on tons of of doorways this election one factor is obvious: persons are sick of Boris Johnson’s Conservatives. They have had sufficient of seeing their taxes hiked, sewage dumped in their rivers and native well being providers run into the bottom.

People deserve a robust native champion who will arise for his or her neighborhood, and a authorities that helps them with the price of dwelling emergency.

As votes are being counted, right here’s some perception from the Guardian’s chief political correspondent, Jessica Elgot, who says Westminster, managed by the Conservatives since its creation in the Nineteen Sixties, is trying “a bit dicey for the Tories”.

Another London council that’s being intently watched is Wandsworth, the place the Tory majority shrank to 6 in the final elections in 2018, the smallest it’s been since 1982.

Neither side prepared to call Wandsworth but key ward was teeming with activists from both sides trying to get out the vote. Both were hoping for late turn out surge,” Jessica says.

Labour successful Wandsworth can be “very symbolic” however doesn’t imply quite a bit in phrases of the following common election.

It’s Barnet and Westminster the place they don’t maintain the parliamentary seats the place the info is extra fascinating – in addition to wards in eg Chingford

Meanwhile Labour are “feeling good” about Barnet however Croydon is on a “knife-edge for the mayoralty”, with Tories anticipating positive factors and issues are “not great” for Labour in Tower Hamlets, the place activists suppose that the celebration of former mayor Luftur Rahman might lose them seats.

The Conservatives are in the meantime saying they their vote is holding up in locations like Bolton though they might not take Sunderland, whereas Labour is hoping to take some Tory seats in Bury but additionally anticipating to lose some to independents.

In conclusion, says Jessica:

The principal theme I’ve heard from virtually everybody I’ve talked to throughout the day is that turnout has been a giant problem – however we’ll see what the figures actually inform us.

Polls close – some tidbits from the bottom to share….

Labour feeling good about Barnet – which might be good story for Starmer. Westminster can be trying a bit dicey for Tories – Lab saying constructive knowledge.

— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) May 5, 2022

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Polls close – some tidbits from the bottom to share….

Labour feeling good about Barnet – which might be good story for Starmer. Westminster can be trying a bit dicey for Tories – Lab saying constructive knowledge.

— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) May 5, 2022

First outcomes aren’t anticipated till about 2am however among the key seats are prone to be among the many first to report.

From 2am we must always begin seeing some fascinating outcomes trickle by, together with in Bolton, which ought to give a superb early indicator as as to if Labour is making any comeback in the north of England.

Wandsworth, in London, is predicted to report between 5am and 7am.

For a better have a look at which councils to be careful for, learn this explainer from my colleagues Jessica Elgot and Antonio Voce:

As talked about earlier, Worthing is among the seats consultants will hold a close eye on to see how nicely the native elections are going for Labour or whether or not the Conservatives actually do want to fret.

My colleague Heather Stewart went to West Sussex to talk to voters and campaigners on the bottom and discovered an optimistic Labour celebration amid indicators Partygate has taken a toll on Tory help in the ‘blue sea wall’.

Here’s an excerpt from her report:

Margaret Howard, standing for re-election in the Broadwater ward in the east of the city, stated. “This morning I had a Tory say he had voted Conservative for 40 years, but it’s time for a change. We have had lots of switchers,” she says.

“Some are because of the local picture, because they know about the community work that’s being done locally, and some it’s because they don’t like what’s happening nationally – but we don’t mind either way.”

Cooper, who leads the Labour group on the council, explains that they’ve put collectively a neighborhood manifesto, based mostly on conversations with voters over 5 years. It consists of every thing from bringing the lido again into use to consulting on offering extra dog-poo bins.

“It’s about people wanting green spaces for them and their families, and a town to be proud of. It’s not really rocket science, but it’s things that everybody can get onboard with,” says Cooper.

Going into these native elections, Labour was stage pegging with the Conservatives, on 17 seats apiece.

The Tories have been operating a minority administration in Worthing since Labour disadvantaged them of their majority in a byelection final December – triggered by the resignation of a Conservative councillor, Tim Wills, who was accused by the anti-fascist marketing campaign group Hope Not Hate of privately supporting the far-right group Patriotic Alternative.

With 14 seats up for grabs on Thursday, Labour has excessive hopes of taking management.

Peter Kellner, the previous president of YouGov, wrote a chunk for the Guardian earlier this week trying on the key councils to observe in this year’s native elections.

He defined how strategists will concentrate on a handful of councils – together with Wakefield, Wandsworth and Worthing – to gauge the depth of Boris Johnson’s woes, and the precise likelihood of a Keir Starmer victory.

You can learn his full piece on which native elections to look out for right here:

And for a cheat sheet on what seat is up the place and who received it final time spherical, Britain Elects have this useful device:

Now accessible: Our 2022 native elections cheat sheet. What's up the place and how did it final vote?https://t.co/oOHAwpUXrt pic.twitter.com/PluFIvRkW9

— Britain Elects (@BritainElects) May 2, 2022

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Polls close in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

The polls have simply closed in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Counting now begins to elect over 4,300 councillors in greater than 140 native authorities. In Scotland all 32 councils and in Wales all 22 councils additionally held elections.

It may very well be a protracted night time for native Conservatives amid criticism of the federal government’s dealing with of the price of dwelling disaster and renewed scrutiny over Partygate.

Some candidates styled themselves “local Conservatives”, and in some circumstances they urged voters to not punish them for “mistakes made in Westminster”.

Leaflets delivered in Hartlepool stated: “This Thursday, please don’t punish local Conservatives for the mistakes made in Westminster. We are local, and proud of where we live.”

In many elements of the nation, together with Birmingham, St Albans, and in the Esher and Walton constituency of the justice secretary, Dominic Raab, Tories had been listed as “local Conservative”, even on the poll paper.

Labour alternatively is hoping to take numerous council seats from the Tories – with Conservative jewels Wandsworth and Westminster in London trying on a knife edge. And in Scotland, Scottish Labour chief Anas Sarwar is assured of positive factors in the May elections, amid earlier predictions the celebration might come second to SNP.

We’ll convey you all the outcomes as they arrive in, with newest reactions and evaluation.

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