Labour and Greens in Wirral make huge gains as Tories lose out

Labour and the Greens on the Wirral made huge gains as the Tories lost out in this year’s local elections.

In Wirral’s biggest election in a generation, thousands of voters turned out to vote to May 4 with the results being announced over the course of the afternoon on May 5. The councillors elected today will be in post until the next election in 2027.

The results saw Labour gain seven seats overall, winning one councillor in Wallasey, taking back Pensby and Thingwall, and winning three Labour councillors in Greasby, Frankby, and Irby. This was the first time Greasby has ever voted Labour.

The Greens also made historic wins, taking their first ever seats in Rock Ferry and Bromborough from Labour while the Conservatives lost seven seats and came within 21 votes of losing a councillor to the Liberal Democrats in Heswall.

The makeup of Wirral Council from May 24 will be 30 councillors for Labour, 17 for the Conservatives, 13 for the Greens, and six for the Liberal Democrats. This is four short of a majority for Labour, meaning the council remains in no overall control.

Details of all the results can be found here

The Conservatives are now the smallest they’ve been on the council since 1999 in a bruising night for the party. However, despite last-minute hopes for Labour in seats like Clatterbridge, three Conservative councillors were elected there.

In Wirral Council’s committee system, no majority for any party means they will have to work together to get things passed, though Labour’s increased number will make things easier for them.

With Labour and Green councillors holding nearly two-thirds of the council too, divisive issues like the future Hoylake Beach management plan or new cycle lanes should be easier to pass.

Gail Jenkinson, who lost Greasby by 64 votes last year, won with 2740 votes alongside two Labour councillors. Credit: Ed Barnes

Cllr Janette Williamson, the local authority’s Labour leader, said, “I am really pleased with our performance today, I have to say and we came so close in so many Conservative seats. It’s been a great night for us.”

However Labour unexpectedly lost two seats to the Green Party in Bromborough, a ward that only had a Green councillor, Jo Bird, after she was expelled from the Labour Party. Cllr Bird was reelected with 2,497 votes.

Cllr Williamson said, “Of course it was disappointing but I don’t think the Greens quite got what they wanted from this either because we held Seacombe.”

Cllr Pat Cleary, Wirral’s Green Party leader, said the Bromborough result was “stunning” and a vindication for his party.

He added, “It’s been terrific. We’re up four to 13 councillors and got an increased presence on the council. Obviously it’s still going to be no overall control on the council so a massive opportunity for the Greens to increase our leverage.”

Kieran Murphy, Ruth Molyneux, and Jo Bird were elected as Green councillors for Bromborough. Credit: Ed Barnes

On the Seacombe loss, Cllr Cleary said, “Labour put huge resources into Seacombe and they prevailed on the day. We’ve gained new councillors in Bromborough, Bebington and Rock Ferry so we are disappointed about Seacombe but on balance, it’s a massive positive result for us to win in three new wards.”

Though a bad night for the Conservatives, Wallasey Conservative Councillor Ian Lewis said the wider picture was “a bit mixed.”

He said, “The fact is we didn’t end up with a Labour majority council. I feel a sense of relief because we do not have that and the parties will have to varying degrees work together, I think that is a positive.”

However he added, “Hopefully the results are a wake up call to the wider party on the Wirral to get their act together because divided parties do not win elections. It’s beholden on those Conservatives to get their act together. The new leader has to be seen to lead. We can’t afford to go any lower.”

Images: Ed Barnes

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