Not quite groundbreaking for the political landscape but results last night certainly shook the usually stable borough of Trafford.
Known traditionally as a predominately blue district, the Conservatives were unable to defend battlegrounds Sale Moor, Broadheath and Urmston against a Labour attack.
Prior to tonight’s results, Trafford has held a comfortable majority of 37 Tory councillors, 22 Labour and four Liberal Democrats.
Heading into the count, Conservative leader Councillor Matthew Colledge was confident in spite of the relatively low turnout to the ballots. He said: “I don’t think there will be a change in power this evening but we may see a change to some wards.
“Residents are happy with how the council is being run which is probably attributed to the low numbers turning out to vote.”
After a 37.6% voting attendance, Labour was successful in taking three seats from the opposition bringing their total to 25 and leaving the Tories with 34.
Leader of the Labour Group, Councillor David Acton was pleased at his party managing to close the gap saying: “At the next election in two years time I believe taking back control of Trafford is more than achievable if we continue our progress.”
The labour head was also celebrating his daughters’ victory this evening as she became Urmston’s newly elected councillor, meaning the ward now solely Labour run.
The Lib Dem’s fared particularly badly throughout the night which saw them repeatedly trounced by the usually reserved Green Party.
Despite this, the seemingly unpopular party managed to hold on to two seats.
Liberal Democrat leader Raymond Bowker, MBE, was delighted to have bucked the national trend to retain the seat he has held for more than 20 years n the Village with 58.2% of the vote. He said: “People have seen the work I’ve done over the past 35 years and have responded to that. I still get the same buzz as I did back then.”
Despite the conception of Trafford being a clear cut and predictable borough, it seems that Labour have been somewhat successful in challenging this. In an area that many expected to remain primarily blue, Labour have made significant inroads in regaining control of a council they haven’t held since 2004.
Although far too early to speculate it seems Cllr David Acton has every reason to be optimistic in the run up to the 2014 elections.