BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 3 May, 2002, 07:49 GMT 08:49 UK
Surprises for Labour in London
Lib Dems gain Kingston
The Liberal Democrats gained Kingston-upon-Thames
More than a quarter of councils in London have changed hands to redraw the political map.

Nine councils are now under the control of a different party, after a night that saw four Tory gains, four losses for Labour and one gain for the Liberal Democrats.

Outside London, Labour regained control of Oxford City Council while Elmbridge in Surrey became only the second authority in England to be controlled by Independents.

Labour shock

In a shock result for Labour, Lambeth is now a hung council with Labour losing seats to the Liberal Democrats.

Labour also lost control of Waltham Forest in north-east London which has become a hung council and the party suffered a defeat in Harrow, where it remains the largest party but without a majority.

Labur gained Bexley which had been a hung council and held on to Hackney, where there was only postal voting, and to Newham which abolished the ballot box in favour of computers.

The Liberal Democrats gained one of their targets, Kingston-upon-Thames which had been a hung council by taking seven seats from Labour.


It makes you wonder how many other people might be wrongly turned away when they have turned up to vote. This is all the more serious when voter turnout is already so low

Simon Hughes MP

The Lib Dems held on to Sutton but failed to gain Southwark where they had been targeting Labour seats and where the council is still hung.

Southwark includes Peckham where crime has been a big local issue following the death of Damilola Taylor.

But a mix-up over postal ballots in Southwark meant that even the local MP Simon Hughes was prevented from voting in his own constituency.

"It makes you wonder how many other people might be wrongly turned away when they have turned up to vote.

"It must be a priority for all citizens who want to vote to be able to do so.

"Every person wrongly stopped from voting is a democratic injustice. This is all the more serious when voter turnout is already so low."

Tory gains

There was some good news for the Conservatives. They recaptured Enfield from Labour, the scene of Michael Portillo's humiliation in the 1997 General Election.

In addition they gained Richmond-upon-Thames from the Lib Dems and gained control of Barnet and Redbridge, both of which had been hung councils.


The turnout is disappointing but we must remember that London had a higher turnout that the rest of the country four years ago. The rest of the country has improved. London hasn't

Nick Raynsford, Minister for London

The Conservatives also kept Westminster, Wandsworth, and Kensington and Chelsea, as well as Bromley.

But Labour kept control of Croydon which had been a Tory target.

Steve Norris, the Conservative candidate for London mayor said it was the night the Tories had done reasonably well in the capital.

"I think we won in all the seats where the Liberals failed to put candidates up.

"We are now head to head with Labour in the popular vote in London about 35% to 35%.

"That 's a terrific advance for us but a lot more to do."

Residents in Hackney, in east London, voted in favour of electing a mayor.

Just over 70% of voters backed the move in a referendum to have a directly-elected first citizen.

Turnout low

And two new Labour mayors were elected in Newham and Lewisham - although it took a second count to confirm Steve Bullock in Lewisham and Sir Robin Wales only just got through in the first round in Newham.

Turnout in Greater London was around 30% on average compared with 35% in the country as a whole, despite various experiments with new ways of voting.

Minister for London Nick Raynsford said: "But we must remember that London had a higher turnout that the rest of the country four years ago.

Ballot box
Turnout in London was lower than the average

"The rest of the country has improved. London hasn't.

"I am pleased the pilots where we've tried to encourage new ways of voting, including all postal ballots, do appear to have been very successful and the turnout in some places has almost doubled compared to four years ago."

Outside Greater London, in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, the Conservatives retained control of the borough council with an increased majority, but Labour lost its leader.

Maidstone remains a hung council and in Swale the Conservatives won an overall majority as the Liberal Democrats lost seats.

It is the first time since 1986 that the borough has had an overall majority.

In Hampshire, Havant was the only authority to change hands. After more than a decade of being in no overall control, the Conservatives are now in power.

Counting will resume in Portsmouth later this morning after three unresolved recounts in the Hillsea ward.

Southampton City Council remains hung . Its Conservative group leader Conor Burns lost his seat to the Lib Dems.

Independent gain

In Oxford, Labour regained control of the council once more. The city also voted against having an elected mayor.

Meanwhile there were no surprises in either Cherwell or West Oxfordshire where the Conservatives strengthened their control of the district councils.

The only change to come out of the local elections in Surrey, was the victory of the residents in Elmbridge.

The Independents, who were already the largest group on the council, now have control of the authority.

It becomes only the second borough in the country to be controlled by a group of independents.

Local Election results


After 174 of 174 councils

Councils
Party Total Net
Lab 63 -8
Con 42 9
LibDem 15 2
Ind 0 0
Oth 2 2
NOC 52 -5
Councillors
Party Total Net
Lab 2402 -339
Con 2005 237
LibDem 1263 45
Ind 136 -79
Oth 101 2
Local Election results
Enter your postcode

Key stories

Analysis

A-Z OF COUNCILS

HAVE YOUR SAY

AUDIO VIDEO
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes