West Leeds election overview: Two Labour gains and a loss

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Elected: Cllr Kate Haigh (Labour)

By John Baron

Additional reporting: Don Mort, local democracy reporting service

It was a mixed day for Labour in West Leeds at the local election count this afternoon.

There was a notable gain in Calverley & Farsley, with Labour’s Craig Timmins taking the scalp of senior Tory Amanda Carter. Cllr Timmins received 3,514 votes, while Amanda Carter received 3,182.

And Labour also gained Farnley & Wortley, with Kate Haigh unseating Green Party stalwart David Blackburn, bringing his 26-year stint as a councillor to an end.

But it wasn’t all good news for Labour. The Green Party’s Lou Cunningham took Armley from Labour by 72 votes – the first time since 1990 that Labour have lost an election in the ward.

Elected: Cllr Lou Cunningham (Green)

Conservatives will also be pleased that Cllr Dawn Seary successfully held off the challenge of Labour’s Riaz Ahmed in Pudsey ward, albeit with a reduced majority.

Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew with Cllr Dawn and Simon Seary. Photo: John Baron

As expected, Bramley & Stanningley remained Labour, but welcomed a new councillor in Adele Rae. And Labour’s Fiona Venner comfortably retained the Kirkstall ward for Labour.

The results mean that Labour will also now take control the Outer West Community Committee from the Conservatives, with five of the nine councillors in Calverley & Farsley, Farnley & Wortley and Pudsey wards. The Inner West Community Committee has eight Labour councillors, and one Green.

Election: Leeds Civic Hall.

City-wide stats and reaction

The authority remains under the control of Labour, with the party’s share of seats unchanged at 61.

  • The Conservatives lost three councillors and now have 15 seats on the council.
  • The Liberal Democrats were unchanged on six seats following the election count today.
  • The Green Party now has five seats in Leeds following the vote, in which 33 wards were contested.
  • The Morley Borough Independents have four seats and the Garforth and Swillington Independents were also unchanged with three seats.
  • The Social Democratic Party gained a seat to reach three and there are still two independent city councillors.

Council leader James Lewis held his Kippax and Methley seat with 3,570 votes for Labour. Speaking earlier today, he said the results were a condemnation of the ruling Conservative government.

He said: “I think in many parts of Leeds today there’s been a real endorsement of our work as a Labour administration as a council.

“That’s down to the things we are doing to take the city forward. And it’s a real condemnation of 14 years of Tory austerity that they are struggling in many seats.

“I think today shows that the next general election is going to be bad news for the Conservatives, and we need to get on with that general election. And that will give people some hope there’s going to be some change coming in this country. It’s clear what people want. They want rid of the Conservatives.”

Leeds Conservative leader Alan Lamb was re-elected in Wetherby with 3,727 votes. He said: “It’s not been a great day nationally for the party. I’m very sad that in Leeds we’ve lost some fantastic colleagues through no fault of their own.”

But he added: “There were some good results for us, it was perhaps not quite as bad as many predicted and feared.”

The Green Party now has five council seats after winning in Armley, Headingley and Hyde Park and Gipton and Harehills.

The turnout figure for the city was 34.24 per cent.

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