Results have begun pouring in for Yorkshire and the Humber in the 2019 local elections and it is fair to say it was a disappointing result for Labour and to a lesser extent the Conservatives.
Modest gains were made by the Liberal Democrats and smaller independent groups, reflecting general voter discontent with the two major parties. Whilst this election was not all out political warfare, with 17 of the 21 Yorkshire authorities voting and 9 of them only electing a third, there are still pockets of interesting analysis.
Leeds remains solidly Labour but at a narrowly reduced majority, with two gains for the Liberal Democrats and one a-piece for the Conservatives and Greens. Voter turnout in Leeds was down on recent years with only 31 per cent of eligible voters putting their cross in a box, perhaps reflecting voter fatigue over Brexit.
There was a similar result in Wakefield and Sheffield where Labour representatives were reduced by three in each authority. Liberal Democrats, Greens and independents were the beneficiaries but a change in leadership was never on the cards with only a third of councillors up for election.
The national picture of Liberal Democrat progress was reflected in Barnsley where Labour lost seven seats and saw the town’s official opposition switch from Conservative to Liberal Democrat.
However the Conservatives had cause for relief in East Riding of Yorkshire, winning 49 of the 67 seats and wiping out all Labour representatives in a traditionally blue area.
In the City of Hull, it is as you were with Labour and Liberal Democrats winning a seat from each other, Labour retaining control of the council.
Overall, Yorkshire hasn’t quite reflected the South West and East with substantial regional gains for the Liberal Democrats in their former heartlands, but there is cause for concern for both major parties as attentions turn again to Westminster.
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