Voters went to the polls on Thursday in 200 local authorities across Britain.
Around a third of councils are declaring results overnight, with the rest – including all authorities in Scotland and Wales – later on Friday.
Here are some of the key results so far:
Westminster had been run by the Conservatives continuously since the council was created in 1964. Now it is in Labor hands – an outcome not predicted by many, but one that symbolizes the slump in Tory support in the capital.
Wandsworth is a long-standing Labor target in London and this year the party has finally won power from the Conservatives, who had been in control of the council since 1978 and had prided themselves on charging residents one of the lowest average levels of council tax in the country.
A poor performance by Labor might have seen the party lose overall control at Sunderland, a council it has run since 1973. But Labor kept its majority and lost just one seat, to the Liberal Democrats, who also gained a second seat from the Conservatives.
Labor has won a comfortable majority in the newly-created authority of Cumberland, which covers the former districts of Allerdale, Carlisle and Copeland in Cumbria – all areas currently represented by Conservative MPs.
– Nuneaton & Bedworth
Labor saw its majority at Nuneaton & Bedworth disappear in 2018 and the party lost more councilors in 2021, with the Conservatives taking overall control. This year Labor has lost another seat to the Tories, in a part of the country that will be a key battleground at the next general election.
The Liberal Democrats have gained a wafer-thin majority in Hull, dislodging Labor who had run the council since 2011. The new line-up is 29 Lib Dems, 27 Labor and one independent – but no Conservatives.
Labor hoped to close the gap on the Conservatives in Derby, where the council has been in no overall control since 2018. But while the party has made three gains, it is still behind the Tories who now have 18 seats, with Labor on 16, the Lib Dems eight, Reform six and independents three.
This was another top Labor target and the party has won control back from the Conservatives, though it has a slim majority on the new council of just four seats.
Labor had hoped for signs of progress in Bolton, Greater Manchester, a council where they enjoyed a majority until 2019. But while the party has gained two seats this time, the Conservatives also made a gain and remain the largest party with 23 councillors, ahead of Labour’s 19, 13 independents and five Liberal Democrats.
Worcester has seen-sawed since 2000 between having a Conservative majority and being in no overall control. The opposition parties were hoping to make gains this year and they have done just enough to leave Tories without a majority, with one gain for Labor and two for the Greens.
It is third time lucky for Labor in Barnet, which has been the party’s top London target in the last three local elections. The party narrowly failed to win control in 2014, while 2018 saw the council swing further towards the Conservatives. This time Labor has won a hefty majority of 19.
Still to eat:
Results are due later today from most of the remaining councils in England along with every council in Scotland and Wales.
The Greens are hoping to make gains in Conservative-controlled Solihull, while Labor aims to do likewise in Tory-run Walsall.
Two key councils in West Sussex are due to declare: Worthing, a top Labor target, and Crawley, where both the Tories and Labor are hoping to gain control.
The SNP is looking to hold off any sign of a Labor resurgence in Glasgow and the outcome in Aberdeenshire will be a key measure of Conservative support in Scotland.
In Wales, Labor is defending a slim majority in Cardiff and looking to take control of Blaenau Gwent from a group of independents, while Flintshire is a test of Tory popularity in an area in which they did well at the 2019 general election.
The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are fighting for control of the new unitary authority in Somerset, while the Lib Dems hope to strengthen control of St Albans and cause an upset in Tory-run Gosport.
Two councils in London – Croydon and Tower Hamlets – are not due to declare until the early hours of Saturday morning and Saturday evening respectively.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.