Analysis of the 2022 local elections: what the results tell us about Labor, the Conservatives, the Lib and the Greens

Results from local elections don’t fit either of the two stories swirled by both major parties

After yesterday’s local elections, one thing that will unite members of all parties, as well as the comment board, is the search for meaning.

Faced with the barrage of bar charts, seat shift diagrams and various chyrons reporting on ‘Hold’, ‘Gain’ and ‘Overall Control’, the public will also be bewildered to know it all. what is it mean.

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Set story

If local campaigners and organizers make money in the run-up to the election, it is the spinners themselves that must now start going overboard and justify their pay packages.

Both the Liberal Democrats and the Greens have had an easier time doing this, as both parties have had a bad night if they are not successful.

But for the main parties, the battle to establish the story is still ongoing.

Reluctantly on Sky News, Tory party chairman Oliver Dowden admitted that “there have been a lot of tough headlines” for his party lately, but reasoned that if you put the results against those headlines, the party Conservatism didn’t do too badly.

“I do not accept,” he concluded, completely shocking no one, “that Labor has an incentive to form the next government.”

Elsewhere, speaking at Barnet, victorious Sir Keir Starmer told Sky News the result was a “major turning point” for Labor, saying the party was “on track for a general election. “.

So the story, depending on who you listen to, is that the Conservatives have taken a good look at conditions and Labor is showing little sign of a major recovery, but it’s also possible that the Tories under Boris Johnson are at a stalemate. Starmer’s final stretch and Labor’s new look will be well positioned to win the next general election, but both major parties should nervously look over their shoulders at the Lib Dems and Greens.

But what is the result? actually tell us?

Starting with London, if only because more seats are elected in the capital than anywhere else in the UK, the picture is a positive for Labor.

Although the 2018 result was a high point for Labor in London, the party has managed to find some extra benefit, even further cementing their political dominance in the capital.

Labor has hit the Wandsworth, Westminster and Barnet assemblies – all three of which have, to varying degrees, delivered historic results for the party.

Westminster has been a Conservative since its founding and Wandsworth, Margaret Thatcher’s favorite celebrity council, has for decades been run as a low-tax locomotive for the Tories.

Labor will say that victory in Barnet – which has a sizable Jewish community – proves it has successfully rebuilt confidence on the issue of anti-Semitism.

A good night for Labor then? Venture beyond the limits of the M25, and the picture is less clear.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, electorate John Curtice tried to sum it all up like this: “Outside of London, Labour’s vote was a bit lower than it was in 2018. It didn’t finish as well as Jeremy Corbyn did. “

Labor lost control of the council in Hull to the Liberal Democrats, which failed to regain full control of Sheffield City Council with the loss of one seat and the party lost three in Barnsley, although retained control. council control.

In Newcastle, Sunderland, Tyneside, Salford, Wirral, Tameside and Oldham, the party has also lost councilors, and in Hartlepool, where Labor hopes to make a comeback, the Conservatives have won two seats.

In Thurrock, where Labor was the largest party most recently in 2014, it lost three more seats and is now less than half that of the Conservatives. The story is similar in Nuneaton.

Ahead of the competition, several commentators highlighted Amber Valley as a key ‘red wall’ area where a strong Labor record would be indicative of a reversal in favor among categories. voters it lost in 2019.

But there is little incentive for Labor on the Derbyshire council, as the Conservatives have increased the majority they have built in 2021 by two seats, although Labor recovered a lost seat last year.

‘Coast to coast’

The flip side of these results is of course that the Conservatives, despite a seemingly endless series of scandals spanning the past few weeks/months/years, and despite being in power for 12 years in national government, still are looking to strengthen and even build on their electoral coalition, albeit in separate pockets.

However, there are some positive signs for Labor in the UK regions, although this is not in line with 2018 results.

The Party won a favorable majority in the new Cumberland Council and managed to retake Southampton Council – a result that is sure to hit the hearts of Conservative MPs who represent these areas.

So there’s some truth in Starmer’s comment to reporters this morning, that Labor won’t be “from coast to coast” – now he just needs to focus on all the points at Between. Analysis of the 2022 local elections: what the results tell us about Labor, the Conservatives, the Lib and the Greens


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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