Local elections 2022: Johnson admits ‘tough’ losses for Tories after L…

Johnson says results have been ‘mixed’ for Tories, but that in some places they’ve had ‘exceptional gains’

Boris Johnson has recorded a clip for broadcasters about the results. He started by paying tribute to Conservative councillors, and said the consequence were “mixed”.

In some parts of the country it had been “tough”, he said.

But in other areas there were “quite exceptional gains in places that have not voted Conservative for a long time, if ever”.

He said that the message he drew from the results was that people want him to get on with “the big issues that matter to them”.

UPDATE: Johnson said:

It is mid-term. It’s certainly a mixed set of results.

We had a tough night in some parts of the country but however in other parts of the country you are nevertheless seeing Conservatives going forward and making quite exceptional gains in places that haven’t voted Conservative for a long time, if ever …

The big lesson from this is that this is a message from voters that what they want us to do above all – one, two and three – is focus on the big issues that matter to them, taking the country forward, making sure we fix the post-Covid aftershock, get us all by the economic aftershocks in the way we got by Covid, fix the energy supply issues, that’s where the inflationary spike is coming, and keep going with our agenda of high wage, high skill jobs. That is what we are focused on.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson Photograph: Sky News

Tory MP Roger Gale says he no longer thinks Ukraine war reason not to remove Johnson

Sir Roger Gale, the Conservative backbencher, was one of the first Conservative MPs to publicly call for Boris Johnson’s resignation when the Partygate scandal erupted in January. After the Russian invastion of Ukraine, he was one of several anti-Johnson Tories who said that, because of the international crisis, it would be wrong to have a leadership contest now. But today Gale said that the situation had “moved on” and that Johnson should go.

Gale told PA Media:

I was, as you know, not in favour of a leadership challenge in the middle of a war, but two things have happened: one, it’s now clear, I think, that the hostilities in Ukraine are going to be prolonged; and second, in a sense what Roger Gale thinks is immaterial because this movement has got a life of its own now – it may become an unstoppable tide.

Asked if he would say it was now time for Johnson to go, Gale replied: “Yes. I think so. I would.”

Sinn Féin has won highest proportion of vote in Northern Ireland, BBC examination says

The BBC is saying it is now confident that Sinn Féin will get the largest proportion of the vote in Northern Ireland. Prof Sir John Curtice, its rule elections analyst, said on the basis of the votes already counted, he could say Sinn Féin would get most votes. He said he also thought that Sinn Féin would win most seats, but that he could not be 100% sure at this point because of uncertainty about how votes are reallocated under the proportional STV voting system used in Northern Ireland. He said:

Anywhere where there was anything very much in the way of a DUP vote – pretty much anywhere except West Belfast – has witnessed a marked decline in the sustain for that party, including in Sir Jeffrey Donaldson’s own constituency, while in particular the Traditional Unionist Voice, which is the party that is adamantly opposed to the Northern Ireland protocol … is picking up meaningful shares of the vote.

Based on results from 11 out of the 18 constituencies in Northern Ireland, here are the figures for proportion of the vote.

Sinn Féin: 27%

DUP: 24%

Alliance: 16%

UUP: 11%

SDLP: 8%

TUV: 7%

This is from my colleague Rowena Mason.

Tory position in south has worsened considerably during the day: Labour take Crawley, Worthing and Southampton, Lib Dems take Somerset and Woking, Tories lose control and/or biggest party position in W Oxfordshire, Tunbridge Wells, Maidstone, Huntingdon, Wokingham, Castle Point

— Rowena Mason (@rowenamason) May 6, 2022

This is what Prof Sir John Curtice, the BBC’s chief election results analyst, said a few minutes ago about the results in Scotland.

We’re looking at a modest increase in SNP sustain, which will be enough for the party to get a record proportion of the vote in local government elections in Scotland. But as we’ve seen, particularly in Glasgow (see 1.24pm), their coalition partners, the Greens, are also advancing by at the minimum as much as the SNP so far, and on event it seems pretty clear, particularly in Glasgow, that the Green advances come at the expense of the SNP …

The big losers are the Conservatives. It looks as though because the Conservatives will come third, perhaps by no more than a associate of points or so … The party sustain is particularly falling back in the areas where it scored particularly well five years ago.

Scottish Labour on course to replace Tories as main challengers to SNP

Severin Carrell

Severin Carrell

Scottish Labour is set to become the closest challenger to Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National party after Conservative sustain plunged to its worst electoral consequence in a decade, Severin Carrell and Libby Brooks report.

Labour enjoyed an unexpected win in SNP-controlled West Dunbartonshire, taking overall control of the council, as it won a swathe of seats across Scotland’s 32 councils and made unexpected gains, putting it on course to take the second largest proportion of the vote.

Anas Sarwar, the Scottish Labour leader, said:

This is the first positive and cheerful day for the Scottish Labour party [after 10 years of defeats] and I’m pretty confident by the end of the day we’ll be in second place in Scotland. Our eyes are now firmly set on the SNP.

The results triggered sharp recriminations amongst the Scottish Tories, who found themselves relegated to third after voters punished them over the Partygate crisis by abstaining from the elections or switching sustain to Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Embarrassed by defeats in wealthy areas such as Edinburgh and East Renfrewshire, the Tories enjoyed a scarce glimmer of success in Scottish leader Douglas Ross’s home area of Moray in north-east Scotland, gaining three seats.

The SNP remained principal across Scotland, narrowly winning control of Dundee by a single seat after five years in minority government, and by 4pm had won 362 of the 1,227 obtainable seats, up 21, with a number of councils nevertheless to declare.

But Nicola Sturgeon, too, endured a few moments of anxiety as the Scottish Greens, the SNP’s partners at Holyrood, enjoyed a surge of sustain in both city and rural elections.

Labour’s win in West Dunbartonshire, winning 12 of its 22 seats, has additional significance because the proportional representation voting system used in Scottish council elections rarely allows one party to win an overall majority.

In the 2017 election, no party had overall control in any of Scotland’s 32 local authorities. Scotland’s three island authorities, the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland, are also dominated by unaligned independent councillors, so has no single party in strength.

Anas Sarwar, leader of the Scottish Labour party, at the count in Glasgow.
Anas Sarwar, the leader of the Scottish Labour party, at the count in Glasgow. Photograph: Peter Summers/Getty Images

Lisa O'Carroll

Lisa O’Carroll

Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill has been returned on first preference votes in one of the first wave of results of the assembly elections.

Conor Murphy, who was finance minister in the last executive, told reporters at the count centre, he was feeling good about Sinn Féin’s prospects.

“The gut is positive for us,” he said.

He rejected arguments that party’s fortunes was connected to SDLP supporters or centrists switching sides to turbo-raise O’Neill’s chances of becoming first minister. (See 3.06pm.) He said:

This is not about a negative reaction to that [the DUP]. We fought a very positive campaign taking about what we wanted to do,” he said in reference to their campaign messages centring on the cost of living and health reforms.

People recognise that … at any rate about the results today, people are facing into a very real crisis tomorrow.

Marcus Fysh, the Conservative backbencher, has been speaking to ITV about the significance of the election results. He says he wants Boris Johnson to change the team responsible for economic policy – which sounds like a call for a new chancellor. This is from ITV’s Anushka Asthana.

After Somerset results, Conservative MP in the area, @MarcusFysh talks about “terrible” outcome and tells me he thinks Boris Johnson’s top team has to be changed to deliver economic policy that will bring voters back. 👇 pic.twitter.com/weEogBZ5sz

— Anushka Asthana (@AnushkaAsthana) May 6, 2022

Michelle O’Neill, the Sinn Féin leader in Northern Ireland, has been elected.

The Liberal Democrats have attained control of the new Westmorland and Furness unitary authority, PA Media reports. With 62 of the 65 results declared, the Lib Dems have won 36, Labour 14, the Conservatives 10 and independents two.

Tories would lose almost 90 seats at general election on basis of local election results, says Sky News examination

Sky News has presented its overall assessment of the results. Like the BBC, it tries to estimate what would have happened if there had been elections in all of Britain, instead of just in certain areas. But it focuses on trying to estimate what that would average if people had voted in a general election in the same way, and it says the Conservatives would be the largest party – but almost 50 seats short of a majority.

Here are the projections:
Conservatives 278 seats (down 87 on 2019)
Labour 271 (up 68)
SNP 50 (up two)
Lib Dems 23 (up 12)

Just because the Conservatives would get more parliamentary seats on this consequence, that does not average they would be ahead on proportion of the vote. The chart posted at 11.08am explains why.

A general election outcome like this would almost certain rule to Keir Starmer becoming chief minister. The SNP and the Lib Dems would definitely vote down a Johnson government, but might consider supporting a minority Labour government in some form or another (or at the minimum not voting it out closest.)

Results projection
A results projection on Sky News. Photograph: Sky News

Rokhsana Fiaz has been re-elected as the Labour mayor of Newham. This is from Ben Lynch from the Romford Recorder.

Labour has lost control of Hastings council, which is now under no overall control. The BBC’s Charlotte Wright says the Greens have attained three seats there from Labour.

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