Local elections: Durham lose Labour control for the first time in a century

Kayleigh Fraser discusses the results of the recent council elections in Durham

Kayleigh Fraser
20th May 2021
Wikimedia Commons
The traditionally Labour controlled council is now under no overall control following the local elections earlier in May

Kier Starmer's Labour party faced unprecedented losses in the local elections, losing critical seats in areas that have had a Labour majority for generations.

This shocking shift in power hit hardest in Durham, which has been under a Labour majority for 100 years. 21 seats were lost, leaving the party with only 53 out of the county's 126 councillors.

Keir Starmer seemed optimistic about a Labour hold on this visit to the county

Despite this, considerable gains were made for independent and Conservative candidates. Those smaller parties won 55 seats, which equals a collective gain of seventeen from the last elections.

Overall, these results display a seismic shift in Durham's politics. In the 2019 general election, Labour candidate Mary Foy won the City of Durham by a narrow 5000 vote margin, down 13.4% from the 2017 general election.

It seems the former mining county is moving away from their Labour roots, and choosing an alternative path for their future. The next local, or even general elections will affirm this claim. However, this may be only the beginning of Labour's loss of the county.

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AUTHOR: Kayleigh Fraser
Campus Comment Sub Editor for 2021/22 and Head of News at NSR. English Literature Student heavily obsessed with politics, bath and body works and making positive change. Also slightly infatuated with iced coffee, guinea pigs, my dog and binging The Simpsons.

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