Roundup: Greater Manchester local elections 2023

This year’s local elections have seen huge losses for the Conservative party across Greater Manchester and the rest of the country.

Greater Manchester’s 10 boroughs held elections yesterday with all, excluding Bolton and Stockport, being held by Labour.

Labour became the largest party in Bolton which was the only Greater Manchester borough controlled, in a minority, by the Conservative Party and enjoyed a landslide victory in Tameside.

In Stockport, the Liberal Democrats were the largest party but failed to secure a majority.

Nationally, Labour are now the largest party in local government, surpassing the Conservatives for the first time since 2002.

Conservatives have lost 1,038 seats and Labour have gained 517. The Liberal Democrats and The Green Party have made gains of 408 and 241 respectively.

Despite the Labour wins, the turnout of registered voters for 2023’s local elections was low.

In Greater Manchester, all 10 boroughs had turnouts of less than 50%.


Bolton, a key battleground in this year’s race and the only Greater Manchester borough controlled by the Conservatives before the count, saw Labour become the largest party with massive gains. 

The council will remain under no overall control but Labour will take over from the Conservatives with minority control. 

They gained seats from the Conservatives and finished with 26 councillors – a gain of seven. The Conservatives lost nine seats and now have 17. 

The overnight count, held at Bolton Arena, also saw the Liberal Democrats and the Independents gain one seat each and finishing with 11 and six seats respectively.

The landmark full 60-seat election means the newly elected councillors must meet to choose a leader.

Rabiya Jiva, who was elected for Labour in Halliwell, said in her victory speech: “I would like to thank each and every one of you.

“All our people, family and friends who have rejected the rhetoric that’s gone on around us, elected three capable individuals – we are a community that is not divided”

The makeup of the council is now

Labour: 26 (+7)

Conservative: 17 (-9)

Independent: 11 (+1)

Lib Dems: 6 (+1)

Labour continues to hold Manchester despite the council losing three seats to the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party. 


Labour lost three seats in Oldham Council while Conservatives gained two.

The former have retained their majority but must re-elect their council leader after Amanda Chadderton lost her seat in Royton South.

This makes her the third leader of Oldham council to be defeated at the local elections.

Former Labour council leader Arooj Shah re-elected to the council this time after losing her seat in May last year.

She has regained a seat in St Mary’s ward for Labour

The makeup of the council is now

Labour: 32 (-3)

Conservatives: 11 (+2)

Lib Dems: 10 (+1)

Failsworth Independent Party: 3 (-2)

Independent: 4 (+2)


Labour continues to hold Manchester despite the council losing three seats to Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.

The holding party remains in a huge majority of 88 councillors.

However, for the first time in years Manchester now has a council ward with no Labour representatives after a third Green Party councillor won in Woodhouse Park.

The ward, in Wythenshawe, is now held entirely by the Green Party.

Manchester City Council Leader Bev Craig spoke to Mancunian Matters told MM: “For us it’s been a great result. We are still the largest Labour group in the country.

“Eighty-eight out of 96 is a significant, massive result for the Labour Party and we’ll continue to build on that.”

A win in Ancoats and Berwick also saw the first transgender councillor elected in Manchester history.

Chris Joanne Northwood, representing the Liberal Democrats, won the election with 1,543 votes.

Northwood spoke to MM following the landmark victory. You can read the full article here.

You can also watch MM’s interview with Sir Oink-A-Lot of the Monster Raving Loony Party here.

The makeup of the council is now

Labour: 88 (-3)

Lib Dems: 4 (+2)

Greens: 4 (+1)


Labour has also maintained control of Salford City Council.

Labour only needed one seat to keep control and won 18 out of the 21 up for grabs. 

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “It was a fantastic set of results for the Labour Party this evening here in Salford.”

The makeup of the council is now

Labour: 49 (=)

Conservative: 8 (=)

Lib Dems: 2 (=)

Independent: 1 (=)


It was a landslide victory for Labour in Tameside this year after the party won 51 of the 57 seats available across the 19 wards.

Labour gained seats from the Conservatives, who lost two seats, and the Green Party, who lost one. 

The Conservatives and Unionist party were the only other party to be elected in the council.

Council leader of the Labour party Ged Cooney told MM: “It’s been a fantastic evening.

“We’re a party that is environmentally serious – but how do you become green and not lose jobs? If we want to avoid what happened with the miners, industry change needs to accommodate workers.

“People think we’re doing a damn good job. You can contest that in the polls in a year’s time, but for now – it’s our day.”

The early morning count also saw a huge twist when a tie in the Hyde Godly count meant a lot had to be drawn to decide third councillor for the ward.

Conservative Andrea Colbourne was the lucky councillor and held onto her seat.

The makeup of the council is now

Labour: 51 (+4)

Conservative: 6 (-2)

Greens: 0 (-1)

Independent: 0 (-1)


Labour also maintained control of Rochdale Borough Council winning 16 of the 20 seats available.

The party now hold a total of 46 seats of the 60-seat council after taking two seats from the Middleton Independents.

Conservative councillor John Hartley lost his seat to Councillor Richard Morgan Jackson by a total of seven votes. Coun Hartley, a Labour councillor of nine years, stood for the Conservative party in Littleborough Lakeside after Peter Reed stepped down prior to the election.

Coun Jackson told MM: “Whether it’s one vote or 700, ultimately it’s all the same.

“We knew it was going to be a tight race but we knew we could get it over the line.”

The makeup of the council is now

Labour: 46 (+3)

Conservative: 9 (-1)

Lib Dems: 3 (=)

Independent: 2 (-2)


Labour has held Bury and have gained two seats in the council at this year’s local elections.

The party won 11 of the 17 seats available and now have a total of 31 seats, a majority of 20 over the Conservative’s total of 11.

The Conservative Party lost two seats and won four while the Liberal Democrats lost their only remaining councillor to the Labour Party in Holyrood.

Radcliffe First held their seats in Radcliffe East and West.

Michael Rubinstein, who became Pilkington Park’s second Labour councillor, said: “I am delighted. It sends a message to Westminster and to the Conservatives that they’ve played fast and loose with the people in this country for far too long.

“They have spun it over and over again that Labour don’t get it right, but every time we have left government we have left it better than we found it.”

The makeup of the council is now

Labour: 31 (+2)

Conservative: 11 (-1)

Radcliffe First: 8

Independent: 1

Lib Dems: 0 (-1)


The Liberal Democrats were agonisingly short of a majority in Stockport, another of the Greater Manchester boroughs which remains under no overall control, after missing out on the win by two seats.

The Labour party made two gains from the Liberal Democrats, denying the latter the majority.

Stockport had all 63 seats up for election across its 21 wards.

The makeup of the council is now

Liberal Democrats: 30 (+2)

Labour: 24 (+2)

Independent: 6 (-1)

Greens: 3 (+1)

Conservatives: 0 (-4)


Labour have retained a strong majority in Wigan Council with 64 seats out of 75 despite the council leader losing to an independent candidate.

Independent Maureen O’Bern displaced Labour leader David Molyneux in Ince in a shock result.

The Conservatives were almost wiped out in Wigan, losing five seats overall, and the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party won no seats.

Coun O’Bern said: “It’s encouraging and I hope that more independents would stand next year.

“If you put the time and effort in and speak to people and try and change things for the better.

“There’s a lot of complacency and people are just taking these votes for granted and they really need to put the time and work in.”

The makeup of the council is now

Labour: 64 (+3)

Independent: 5 (+2)

Independent Network: 4 (=)

Conservative: 2 (-5)


Labour hold Trafford in the last of the Greater Manchester counts but a shock win for the Green Party turned Hale into an all-Green ward.

The makeup of the council is now

Labour: 41 (+1)

Conservatives: 10 (-3)

Lib Dems: 6 (+1)

Greens: 6 (+2)

Main image credit: Doc Searls from Santa Barbara, USA, Wikipedia Commons

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