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Vote2018: rolling results live blog

Vote2018: rolling results live blog

🕔03.May 2018

Welcome to our live blog for the local election results. Kevin Johnson is back in the chair.

Our attention turns from Walsall and Dudley back to Birmingham and Solihull where their council election counts take place this morning.

Birmingham city council will see 101 councillors elected for new seats after a boundary review. These councillors will serve for four years together – gone will be the election of one third of the council in three of a four year cycle.

We’ll update with results and commentary at the top of this page, but you still refer to last night’s events by scrolling down the page. Keep refreshing for the latest. 

Phew! After about 11 hours of live blogging, we are done.

In headline terms, nothing has changed (to quote the PM from about 12 months ago).

But it has.

Labour is in control of a city council with a completely new set of seats. It has almost two-thirds of the places on the council chamber benches and can govern reasonably comfortably for four years.

Earlier in the day, Labour figures were worried. In the end, the result came in at the bottom end – possibly a bit lower – than original predictions. There were a few too many close scrapes for comfort.

The challenges of administration will return – financial, cultural, managerial and operational.

Ian Ward is probably safe from an internal challenge. But as elsewhere in the country, it has not provided a platform on which Labour can reasonably claim it is on a march towards power at Westminster.

Theresa May will be feeling better about #LocalElections2018 than Jeremy Corbyn. But politics in the nation remains divided – right down the middle.

A Green councillor has been returned to Birmingham, with an additional seat also picked up in neighbouring Solihull.

Labour didn’t lose Cabinet names, but will need to line up a new Lord Mayor-elect after losing out in Castle Vale.

Randal Brew will be a big loss to the Conservative group. Will the result be enough to sustain Alden jnr in leading the group into the next four years?

Andy Street has called the results in Birmingham “respectable”, whilst he can look forward to seeing the balance of leaders on the WMCA Board tip slightly toward the Tories.

Mr Street keeps his reputation as an electoral asset with his brand of “urban conservatism”. He’s paid back some favours from his election journey last year.

Jon Hunt has claimed it was an OK day for the Lib Dems in Birmingham. That’s as far as it can be described, but the party has made some modest gains elsewhere.

Cllr Alden is “upbeat” in an interview with Neil Elkes on Birmingham Live


We’ve all been on a rollercoaster today, Kathryn…

The final official tally

John Clancy is back – as one of two councillors returned by the Quinton ward. 

Fellow Labour candidate Kate Booth won a few more votes in the two seat ward, whilst Conservative candidate Georgina Chandler came within 100 votes of defeating the former council leader.

The BBC reports that Mayor Andy Street – who won his election exactly one year ago – says the Conservatives are making “great progress” in Walsall and Dudley and “we stretched our majority in Solihull, and the results in Birmingham are very respectable”.

Two seats for the Tories in Kingstanding. 

Neil Elkes makes it 67 seats for LAB with 3 to go, which is more like the result Labour councillors were originally anticipating.

The Lib Dems pick up 2 seats in Sheldon. 

Sutton Trinity goes for the Conservatives in a one seat ward.

Sutton Wylde Green is also a one seat ward win for the Tories.

Bournville and Cotteridge add two more to the Labour tally.

Two more seats for Labour

Liberal Democrats take Kingston upon Thames from Conservatives.

The Tories take both Edgbaston seats.

Senior Conservatives Deirdre Alden and Matt Bennett given four year terms.

State of the city

Both Small Heath seats go for Labour.

Labour wins in Brandwood & Kings Heath, Moseley and one of the Longbridge and West Heath seats. Conservatives take the other seat in that ward. 

That means Cabinet member Brett O’Reilly is returned.

Also senior party figures Lisa Trickett and Mike Leddy will be back at the Council House.

The PM has turned up in Dudley, along with Andy Street and Patrick Harley. 

She also congratulates Mike Bird across in Walsall.

Theresa May is in chipper form. She’s obviously enjoying a few hours away from EU negotiations… inside her party.

The Council website carrying the results has fallen over. There’s symbolism for you.


Established councillors Roger Harmer (LD) and John O’Shea (LAB) being returned to Acocks Green. 

Conservatives are 29 up, Labour 9 down in the West Midlands. 

Patrick Burns tells Huw Edwards he’s been going on like “a cracked record” (about what Labour should be doing in Midlands marginals if it is to win a General Election).

We think he’s been doing a great job from Stourbridge and Birmingham!

He also delicately manages to point out that Birmingham is not the entire West Midlands to Emily Thornberry. Burned.

After a run of Labour victories, two Tory councillors are elected by Erdington. They include group leader ‘Bobby’ Alden.

Here’s the state of the city

Aston now returns two Labour councillors.

With two seats in Sparkhill, Labour retain control of Birmingham city council.

The question remains as to the final total. After early concerns, it’s looking more like the status quo in terms of the balance of the parties.

Another two more for Labour.


Two seats for Labour in Sutton Vesey.

Andy Street welcomes Dan Jarvis to the club.

We often comment that our Mayor needs more powers and real devolution, but his new counterpart has much bigger issues.

One seat each for LAB and CON in Harborne. 

Two seats for Labour in Handsworth Wood.

We suggest Labour needs 60 plus seats for Ian Ward to feel safe from a challenge within his group. Now looks like they will get there.

Further two seats for LAB in Ladywood.

Unlike his wife, Sir Albert Bore is sent back to serve his constituents in the Council Chamber.

Two Labour seats in Weoley and Selly Oak. 

Cabinet member Tristan Chatfield is returned.

Dan Jarvis wins in Sheffield.

Kemi Badenoch, for the Conservatives on the BBC, is clearly no fan of devolution. Why would anyone want to be Mayor rather than a career at Westminster, she wonders? We must introduce her to Andy Street.

Expectations management going at full throttle

Neil also reports there are just 13 votes in the Longbridge ward, where Cabinet member Brett O’Reilly could just hang on.

Dan Jarvis is close to winning the Sheffield city region Mayoralty, but he didn’t pass the 50% threshold on the first round.

Turnout just 25%.

Theresa May has been busy on the ground and through social media congratulating local councillors

Two seats for LAB in Hall Green North.


We wish you a speedy recovery Ken!

Ukip are still a force to be reckoned with, its current leader Gerard Batten tells the BBC. 

There’s an awful lot of spin about today (not to mention Black Death).

Two seats for Labour in Soho and Jewellery Quarter.

Meanwhile, disappointment for former West Midlands Unite regional director

State of the city, nearly half way there

Conservative hold their lines in Bartley Green – father and son John and Bruce Lines elected. 

Two more seats for LAB in Bromford and Hodge Hill. 

‘Magic’ Majid Mahmood will be able to keep his seat on the Cabinet.

Former Cabinet member and leadership challenger Penny Holbrook is returned.

Could John Clancy, the former leader, lose out in Quinton? It would be a big fall, adding to his resignation as leader toward the end of last year. 

Will the group think this result is not good enough from latest leader Ian Ward? Will deputy Brigid Jones begin to weigh up a leadership challenge?

As ever in the Birmingham Labour Group, it will be a question as to whether factions and cohorts form a collective view.

Meanwhile, the Tories pick up two more seats in Sutton Walmley and Minworth. Prominent Conservative Ken Wood will be back at the Council House. 

The Conservative group now has 32 councillors in Solihull under regional deputy mayor Bob Sleigh. 

GRN 11 (up 1), LD 4 (down 2), LAB 2 (up 1), Ukip 1 and 1 IND.

The expectations management game is alive and well in Birmingham Labour.

Leading politicians told Chamberlain Files in the run up they expected around 70 or more seats for Labour.

Two seats in North Edgbaston for Labour. 

Cabinet members Carl Rice and Sharon Thompson back to the Council House.

Owen Jones is on the BBC making the best of a bad situation – and trying to make friends with Jeremy Corbyn.

Jess Philips MP is now on from the ICC being more realistic. Very surprised by results in white working class areas of the city – a point being made all day by Patrick Burns.

The shock results in Solihull according to the BBC’s  Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Two seats for LAB in Glebe Farm and Tile Cross.

John Cotton is returned. Will there be a place in a reshuffled Cabinet? Or will he challenge for the leadership? If (note the underline) the party does only manage 54 seats, there will surely be questions to be asked in the group…

A further two seats for Labour in Oscott.

But Labour figures are worried

Two seats for Labour in Bournbrook and Selly Park, in the first of the multiple seat ward results.

That means Deputy Leader Brigid Jones is returned.

Projected national share of the vote, according to the guru himself Sir John Curtice, is 35% apiece for Conservatives and Labour. 

A ‘mixed picture’, a ‘status quo’ election etc. but it’s clearly more complicated than that. Difficult to argue that Labour should have done better at this point in the Parliament, especially given the political environment, if it wants to challenge for a majority Government.

Labour wins in Kings Norton North and Gravelly Hill.

It looks like Labour’s Des Hughes – brother of Tory MP Eddie – has lost in Kingstanding. The Walsall North MP has mixed emotions.

Two more wins in the heartland of Sutton Coldfield for the Conservatives.

Thank goodness for that, it’s given me time to grab a coffee…

Sutton Four Oaks goes, unsurprisingly, to the Conservatives. 

Meanwhile, the party has done enough to hold Solihull Council. 

Waseem Zaffar wins in Lozells for Birmingham. Perhaps a return to the Cabinet awaits? A couple of Cabinet members could lose their seats this afternoon.

Labour win Birchfield. The official state of play now

Our friends on Birmingham Live have totted up and reckon its LAB 17 CON 9 LD 3 GRN 1. Only 71 to go…..

CON pick up Sutton Mere Green.

Some thoughts from @stanchers on why Labour is not doing as well as it anticipated, whilst Neil Elkes adds a good point. 

LAB win Tyseley and Hay Mills, Stirchley and Birchfield. 

LAB take Handsworth, CON take Sutton Roughley and Hall Green South. 

Tory Deputy Leader Randal Brew beaten in new Northfield ward. However, shadow cabinet member returned in Hall Green.

LAB take Bordesley & Highgate and Holyhead in new Birmingham council.

“It could have been better, it could have been worse..,” says Ian Ward. Well, it could certainly have been better for Labour both in Birmingham and elsewhere. 

CON pick up Allens Cross and Rubery & Rednall in Birmingham.

CON take control of Redditch. Another bad result for Labour. 

Lib Dems pick up Yardley West and Stetchford.

CON take Highter’s Heath.

Ward wins. Labour’s leader might be facing a worse set of results than anticipated, but he’s been returned for the Shard End ward and the party also win Ward End.

This time last year James Burn was taking on Andy Street for the West Midlands Mayoralty. Today, he’s retained his seat on Solihull Council and is celebrating a good night for his Green group in the Borough.

CON take Sutton Reddicapp.

First seat for the Lib Dems in Yardley East.

Balsall Heath West goes for Labour.

Big win for the Greens

LAB take Pype Hayes in Birmingham, by just 16 votes.

LAB take Kings Norton North and Heartlands in Birmingham.

CON GAIN Lyndon ward in Solihull with several Conservative and Green holds. 

Olton is a GAIN for CON in Solihull.

The Greens GAIN Castle Bromwich in Solihull.

Labour pick up Bordesley and Highgate and Garretts Green in Birmingham.

A new Lord Mayor elect will have to be found as it was Labour’s Lynda Clinton who lost out to the Conservatives in Castle Vale.

Meanwhile, it was veteran Conservative Bob Beauchamp who narrowly beat Labour’s former Lord Mayor Anita Ward in Perry Common.

LAB pick up Bordseley Green

It could be more rubbish for Labour in Birmingham than anticipated

Amidst a series of CON HOLDS, LAB GAINS Kingshurst and Fordbridge in Solihull. 

Labour take the Newtown ward in Birmingham, whilst the Greens hold Shirley West in Solihull. Conservatives hold Meriden and Shirley East in Solihull. 

Early days, but it seems the Conservatives are doing well so far. Another win, this time in Frankely Great Park.

It’s Labour for Nechells

Conservatives take Perry Common

@Stanchers reckons turnout will be about 25% in Birmingham.

The count is on in Solihull

CON GAIN Castle Vale

Paul Oakley of Ukip has compared his party to the Black Death and Ken Livingstone has been banging on about Hitler again, apparently.

Meanwhile PM Theresa May has been rejoicing in Wandsworth and Vince Cable has been celebrating in Richmond. They don’t seem to have overtly offended anyone or embarrassed themselves.

First Birmingham result is in

@Stanchers is on the case, first results not too far off at the ICC

Turnout is anther factor, of course, as the BBC’s Patrick Burns reports

Birmingham’s results will be fascinating, for a range of reasons. Given Labour’s relatively poor night – not least in the expectation management game – the party will be hoping it can buck the trend and increase its control over the newly formed council. 

Birmingham has a habit of kicking the trend, so Labour could do even better than expected.

Leading Labour politicians had told Chamberlain Files they expected the state of the parties to remain broadly where they were, albeit in the newly formed seats.

What impact will Andy Street have on the Tory vote? He was mentioned on almost every page of the party’s manifesto in the city. He had a good night in the Black Country, can his winning run help Birmingham Conservatives?

What about the bins? After all, bins and pot holes usually rank highest on local voter concerns. Given the 221 day industrial waste management dispute, Cllr Alden and co should be cleaning up.

But the electorate’s patience with austerity is clearly wearing thin – and Birmingham city council has been hit hardest by funding cuts.

The shadow of Brexit hangs over almost every other aspect of politics. Leave areas seem to bending towards the Tories. As elsewhere, we will be watching for where Ukip votes are dispersed.

Labour seems to be doing better in urban areas, especially those with a large proportion of ethnic minority voters. However, Labour is clearly struggling in Jewish communities.

Theresa May started the week with a Cabinet resignation and a seeming inability to convince top table colleagues of her favoured approach on the Customs Union.

Are voters now taking a different stance at local elections than they might when choosing a Government? The Tories did very well in last year’s mayoral and council elections, but then bombed at the General Election, not helped by a terrible campaign.

So, the city at the centre of the country will be at the heart of the political story today.

The count is under way in Birmingham

We expect the fist result sometime late morning, with the final picture emerging around teatime.

Meanwhile, they are verifying the papers in Solihull

The council’s instagram feed is the place to be, apparently. 

A correspondent writes

Good morning. 

We’ll give this page a re-boost shortly as the Birmingham and Solihull counts start.

In the meantime, you can find our morning summary here.

Vote2018: the story so far

Here are some good national guides to the night ahead:

Huffington Post


The Guardian.

Around 4,300 seats and 150 town halls are in play, as well as six mayoral contests.

We expect to start in earnest around midnight.

Here’s our guide to the Birmingham Battlegrounds:

VOTE2018: Council battlegrounds on 3 May

Chris Game looks beyond Birmingham

Vote2018: Thursday’s other West Midlands elections

We read the party manifestos for Birmingham, so you don’t have to

Vote2018: polling day manifesto summary

Meanwhile, we say goodbye to some big beasts of the city’s political scene

Vote2018: Brum’s big beasts leaving the House

The country’s leading academic on local government (well, beyond Chris Game that is) shares his thoughts on what to look out for tonight:

Tony Travers on what to look out for in today’s local elections

Birmingham doesn’t start counting until tomorrow morning, with results expected around late morning. But we will keep our ears out for any reaction from candidates and parties.

The work has started at Walsall though:

The Council has a good election results service on its website

Meanwhile, Dudley’s results will pop up here.

It’s going to be grim in Dudley for Ukip

The great psephologist Sir John Curtice will feature, no doubt, as the night goes on. If you’re a real anorak, or just need to fill time before we get any results, enjoy his briefing for the Political Studies Association:

What happens to the Ukip vote will be one of the stories of the night, especially as many of the seats being contested tonight were last fought in 2014 – when Ukip reached its high water mark.

Labour is in danger of losing control of Nuneaton and Bedworth, with the Tories up 9 net seats at present.

Labour lose overall control of Nuneaton. Labour’s John McDonnell brushes it off on the BBC. 

Another theme, as ever in local elections, will be turnout.

In Walsall, it’s 29%.

The Tories seem confident in Dudley, where the Ukip vote is collapsing. Suzanne Evans tells the BBC she’s convinced there’s a strong future for the party…

The Tories hold Swindon – a target council for Labour.

Comfortable hold for leader of the council Patrick Harley (Con) in Kingswinford South #Dudley #election2018

— Rob Mayor (@robmayor) May 3, 2018

Labour HOLD Cannock Chase. Just. 

Conservatives have gained 5 seats in Walsall. No overall control, but the party has the largest number of seats.

The Tories hold onto Tamworth.

Still 2 results to go in Walsall, but it will end hung. The Tories have picked up 5 – Labour lost 2 and Ukip down 3.

In no surprise whatsoever, LAB HOLD Wolverhampton.

Conservatives now predicted to take Dudley.

Walsall result – 30 Cons, 26 Lab, 2 Indie, 2 Lib Dem.

LAB HOLD Sandwell. 


LAB will retain control of Coventry. 

It looks like it’s the beginning of the end of Bill Etheridge’s political career. He’s not happy with the (latets) Ukip leader.

The Editor of this blog isn’t too impressed with Claire Perry (Con) or John McDonnell (Lab) on the BBC.

Let’s hope the new shift of Dr Liam Fox and Dawn Butler can do better…

Ukip have won a seat. Yes, one seat in Derby. They’ve lost 60 so far.

No sign yet of Nigel Farage on the BBC…

Dudley result is in

More details here.

Looks like the Lib Dems will take Richmond, whilst the Conservatives have lost Trafford to No Overall Control.

Andy Street has given the results so far a thumbs up.

Labour end the night with 39 of the 54 seats on Coventry city council. 

Worcester remains in No Overall Control, with the Greens picking up seats.

In the West Midlands so far, the BBC says the Conservatives have gained 26 seats and Labour have lost 8.

As Patrick Burns points out, Conservative success in Dudley came in spite of high profile visits from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The BBC’s political editor also points out that Andy Street’s WMCA Board will now comprise a 4/3 LAB/CON make up, rather than 5/2 (assuming results go as expected in Birmingham and Solihull).

SUMMARY at 3.23am.

Well, that’s enough for now. More fun in a few hours with the Birmingham and Solihull counts.

It’s been a good night for the Tories in Walsall and Dudley. Andy Street is pleased.

Labour has lost control of Nuneaton and Bedworth.

Sandwell, Wolverhampton and Coventry remain in Labour hands.

Further afield, the Conservatives have lost control of Trafford and Plymouth.

It looks like the Lib Dems will take Richmond. But Wandsworth, where Labour is hoping for a scalp, is too close to call.

In Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein has won the by election as anticipated.

But the main theme is the obliteration of the Ukip vote.

For the moment, good night.

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