Oldham local election 2024: Labour loses its majority

Oldham Council has lost its 13-year-long Labour majority – meaning the council is now in no overall control.

Labour lost three seats at the election count, held at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, so the party now holds less than 50% of the seats overall.

The party scraped by last year when they secured 32 of the 60 seats, a figure that dwindled in April when two candidates representing Werneth split from them due to Labour’s stance on Gaza.

Despite this, Labour is still the largest party in the council – but wins from independent candidates in Alexandra, St Mary’s, Royton South and Waterhead left some in the hall feeling defeated.

Ken Rustidge, who is now a Labour councillor representing Failsworth East, said: “People in towns like Oldham and across the North have suffered and I’m determined to work with our great MPs to fight for a Labour government.

“I think we should fight in the interest of everyone and not just the privileged few.”

Conservative candidates were elected in Royton North and Saddleworth South, and three Liberal Democrats were appointed in Saddleworth West and Lees, Saddleworth North and Crompton.

For Labour to retain their power in the council, they will have to form a coalition with independent candidates or other political groups.

One source said that the reasons for the turn of events – which has left the council with no overall control for the first time since Labour started its majority streak in 2011 – include Labour’s controversial stance on Gaza and a lack of inspiration for the party nationally.

He said Labour were ‘doing very well at not being Conservatives’.

One of the councillors who split from the party over Starmer’s position on Gaza, Nyla Ibrahim, was the last candidate to be announced tonight, winning as an independent candidate at 6:13am.

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