All change for Cumbria County Council as Labour loses 10 seats

5 May 2017 12:21PM

The Conservatives have strengthened their grip on Cumbria, overtaking Labour as the party with the most seats on the county council.

The Tories now hold the largest number of the authority's 84 seats following Thursday's elections.

The party gained 12 - increasing its share from 25 to 37.

However it did not reach the "magic number" of 43 needed to secure overall control.

It was a disappointing night for Labour, which lost 10 seats - falling from 36 to 26.

Among those was that of Labour's General Election candidate, Gillian Troughton, who lost her Howgate seat to Tory Copeland councillor, Martin Barbour.

The Liberal Democrats increased their seats by one, moving from 15 to 16, while the number of independent councillors fell from seven to five.

Speaking on his way back from the South Lakeland count, James Airey - leader of the Conservative group - said it had been a "fantastic night" for the party.

He said: "I'm absolutely delighted.

"We were confident that we would do well, but we're now clearly the largest party in Cumbria - chosen by the people of Cumbria."

He also said that discussions will take place over the coming days about forming a new council.

"We'll look at our position and see how we can move forward," said Mr Airey. "It's too early to say what will happen yet."

Stewart Young, who held his seat in Upperby, Carlisle, for Labour, had held the position of leader of the council since 2013.

He said: "Obviously I'm disappointed. Privately, I did think we could lose about 10 seats, but they weren't necessarily in the areas I expected.

"We have had some good results, though, for example in Alston and Keswick.

"There's no one party in overall control, another coalition will have to be put together. We will be holding discussions over the weekend."

Labour and the Lib Dems would not have enough seats for a majority coalition - as they previously had.

Options could include an independent councillor joining the two parties, the Liberal Democrats joining forces with the Conservatives, or the Tories opting to forge ahead with a minority council.

Overall turnout was 37.2 per cent. In Allerdale, it was 36.6 per cent, in Barrow, it was 27.3 per cent, in Carlisle, 36.3 per cent, Copeland 32.2 per cent, Eden 39.4 per cent and South Lakeland 47 per cent.

The full results for each area are below:

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