Wigan Council elections: Labour hold strong majority but leader is overtaken by independent

The Labour Party held a strong majority in Wigan Council with 64 seats, despite their leader being edged out to first by an independent candidate.

The shock result was in Ince as Independent Maureen O’Bern displaced Labour leader David Molyneux with the most votes to serve a four-year term.

The Conservatives were nearly wiped out and lost five seats overall as the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party won no seats.

Maureen 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 council had 75 seats up for grabs across 25 wards in Wigan and Leigh for the all-out elections.

In events that mirrored the national picture, Labour took a strong hold with 64 seats across Wigan and Leigh.

Labour MP for Makerfield Yvonne Fovargue said: “We’re setting ourselves on course to be the next government so we can now act as a government in waiting.

On Wigan’s Labour council, she said: “It’s a good Labour council that is valued by the residents and they want to continue looking at the residents’ priorities and working with the limited money they have to make life better for all of us.”

It was a disappointing set of results for the Conservatives, as just two councillors were elected.

And former Conservative leader Michael Winstanley failed to regain his Orrell seat after losing his seat at last year’s election.

He said: “It’s obviously a really disappointing set of results but we have managed to keep two councillors on Wigan Council.”

More independent candidates made further gains with nine additional seats in the council chamber as 26 per cent of Wigan turned out to vote – the same number as last year.

They found success in Bob Brieley for Hindley Green and independent candidates also had a clean sweep in Bryn, where Steve Jones, Sylvia Wilkinson held and Scarlett Myler gained from Labour.

North West Treasurer for the Liberal Democrats John Skipworth said: “We’ve seen a substantial increase in our vote in all wards where we had candidates standing and we look to further grow in the time to come.”

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