Sweeping gains in Staffordshire as Labour fights back

Labour made sweeping gains in Staffordshire, decimating the Conservative majority, as voters sent a clear message to David Cameron in the county council elections.

All three main parties were rocked by the rise nationwide of the UK Independence Party which secured historic results in the Wyre Forest as it claimed its first seats on Worcestershire County Council.

Tory MPs today urged the Prime Minister to take the threat of Ukip seriously after the mid-term drubbing. In Staffordshire, Labour went from just three councillors to 24 and is now set to form a formal shadow cabinet to challenge the 34 Tories.

The Conservatives also stayed in charge in Worcestershire but lost 10 councillors.

There were signs local issues had a large bearing on the results, with the threat to Stafford Hospital and opposition to the £33 billion HS2 scheme hitting the Tory vote.

Campaigner Rachel Jenkins stormed to victory in Tory stronghold Clent Hills after her high-profile battle against plans to build a new estate in Hagley, near Stourbridge.

Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins was relieved to retain a majority as Ukip’s share of the vote rocketed, with Nigel Farage’s party coming second in many wards.

“We have got a majority of six, which is perfectly workable, despite there being a lot more Labour councillors,” Councillor Atkins said. “A lot of people voted Ukip but that means they haven’t gone to Labour.”

Nationally the Conservatives lost control of 10 councils and some 340 seats. Labour made a net gain of 268 seats. Eight of those councils went to no overall control. Ukip picked up 131 more councillors and 23pc of the vote, with the Tories polling 25pc and Labour 29pc.

Mr Cameron last night admitted the party had ‘lessons to learn’ from Ukip.

Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy and Cannock Chase’s Aidan Burley called on Mr Cameron to think carefully about his strategy for 2015.

Mr Lefroy said: “The message from this is to take Ukip seriously.”

Mr Burley added: “David Cameron needs to learn we can no longer dismiss them or the people who vote for them as fruitcakes.”

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Comments for: "Sweeping gains in Staffordshire as Labour fights back"

Tim Jones

The results across England so far show more councillors for UKIP, the most right wing party to have gain electoral support for more than 70 years.

Its policies threaten a swathe of employees’ rights, substantial parts of our welfare state and harmony between the different racial and ethnic groups in our community. Those in believe in employees’ right the Welfare State and inclusivity will have to fight a lot harder to protect what is good and decent in Britain.

shreks left foot

@tim jones................IF you don't like whats going on then who cares because this is about a MAJORITY speaking not the minority so on that note I say come on UKIP.............!!

Better access to maths lessons for all

@ shreks left foot. If UKIP are only scoring 'at least 26% of the vote' where they stand then I think you'll find it's actually the MINORITY speaking!!

Pete L

UKIP aren't the majority, they are a noisy minority who have made progress, mainly because a lot of people have made a protest vote against the Coalition but don't have a clue about what the UKIP really stand for. They may get some nasty surprises in the fullness of time.

pete B

With all three parties way left of centre,and promises being broken everywhere is it any wonder UKIP is the upcoming party. David Cameron's promises are for the next term not now,he must be dizzy with the number of u turns made,I would give David Cameron two bits of advise don't insult other parties by calling them Clowns,The Cap fits too well on the Consevatives at the moment,and please for God's sake listen to the people. I am a life long Tory voter but like many others not any more

Steve B

It's time for the British Voter to get off his backside and get down to the polling stations. Turn outs should be covered by legislation like in Australia so we know at best that people have spoken with their mark. For too long the people of this country have procrastinated and when asked, many openly offer that they did not bother to vote. Rally those voters Nigel who don't vote and get them to back you. Couple this with the percentages gained for UKIP in Stafford and we could easily see a government standing up to Europe for a change maybe with a coalition helped by UKIP and not the hogwas Liberal Democrats who fuddle about trying to be everyone's pal. Cleggy, you have pensioned yourself off now so best apply for the job in last of the summer wine with your other buddies. Indeed that show could see a huge swell of fans with the roles filled by the leaders of the parties currently. Don't let the grip go now Nigel, people are behind you and momentum is rising. Well done UKIP.

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