Not much to see here: Dave’s guide to local election results in the Liverpool City Region

Liverpool from Everton Park. Image: Getty.

Last Thursday’s English local elections saw new councillors elected to the six constituent council areas of the Liverpool City Region. Only one third of the council seats were contested this year: under the ‘thirds’ system, elections are held in three years out of four, each covering a third of the seats.

In order of size – that is, number of wards – the six councils are Liverpool City Council, Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council (MBC), Wirral MBC, Halton Borough Council, St Helens MBC and Knowsley MBC. The region has 126 wards in total, most with three councillors each.

So what went down? Here’s my guide. The information provided here was taken directly from the six official council websites, including the party names which are as defined thereon.

Before the elections

On 28 April 2018, there were a total of 364 councillors across Liverpool City Region, split politically as follows:

  • Labour Party – 288 (inc. five listed as Labour & Co-operative Party)
  • Liberal Democrats – 33
  • Liberal Party – 2
  • Conservative Party – 30
  • Green Party – 5
  • Independents Group – 4
  • Independent – 2

To summarise, of the total number of councillors of 364 within Liverpool City Region, 288 were Labour.

This all breaks down by individual council area as follows.

Liverpool – 88 councillors, in 30 wards

  • Labour Party – 77
  • Green Party – 4
  • Liberal Democrat – 4
  • Liberal Party – 2
  • Independent – 1

Labour majority – 66

Sefton – 64 councillors, in 22 wards

  • Labour Party – 38
  • Liberal Democrats – 16
  • Conservative Party – 5
  • Independents Group – 4
  • Independent – 1

Labour majority – 12

Wirral – 64 councillors, in 22 wards

  • Labour – 38
  • Conservative – 20
  • Liberal Democrats – 5
  • Green Party – 1

Labour majority – 12

Halton – 55 councillors, in 21 wards

  • Labour – 51
  • Liberal Democrat – 2
  • Conservative – 2

Labour majority – 47

St Helens – 48 councillors, in 16 wards

  • Labour Party – 42 (inc. three listed as Labour & Co-operative Party)
  • Liberal Democrat Party – 3
  • Conservative Party – 3

Labour majority – 36

Knowsley – 45 councillors, in 15 wards

  • Labour Party – 42 (inc. two listed as Labour & Co-operative Party)
  • Liberal Democrats – 3

Labour majority – 39

After the elections

On 4 May 2018, there were a total of 371 councillors across Liverpool City Region, split politically as followsL

  • Labour Party – 291 (inc. five listed as Labour & Co-operative Party)
  • Liberal Democrats – 32
  • Liberal Party – 2
  • Conservative Party – 34
  • Green Party – 6
  • Independents Group – 3
  • Independent – 3

(Note that there are sometimes more councillors than previously, because vacant seats have been filled.)

To summarise, of the total number of councillors of 371 within Liverpool City Region, 291 are now Labour. The party has gained three, the Conservatives four, the Greens one and the LibDems have lost 1.

This all breaks down by individual council area as follows:

Liverpool – 90 councillors, in 30 wards

  • Labour Party – 76
  • Liberal Democrat – 7
  • Green Party – 4
  • Liberal Party – 2
  • Independent – 1

Lib Dem +3; Labour -1

Labour majority – 62

Sefton – 66 councillors, in 22 wards

  • Labour Party – 43
  • Liberal Democrats – 12
  • Conservative Party – 8
  • Independents Group – 3

Labour +5, Conservative +3, LibDem -4, Independent -2

Labour majority – 20

Wirral – 66 councillors, in 22 wards

  • Labour – 39
  • Conservative – 21
  • Liberal Democrats – 5
  • Green Party – 1

Labour +1, Conservative +1

Labour majority – 12

Halton – 56 councillors in, 21 wards

  • Labour – 52
  • Liberal Democrat – 2
  • Conservative – 2

Labour +1

Labour majority – 48

St Helens – 48 councillors, in 16 wards

  • Labour Party – 41 (inc. three listed as Labour & Co-operative Party)
  • Liberal Democrat Party – 3
  • Conservative Party – 3
  • Independent – 1

Independent +1, Labour -1

Labour majority – 34

Knowsley – 45 councillors, in 15 wards

  • Labour Party – 40 (inc. two listed as Labour & Co-operative Party)
  • Liberal Democrats – 3
  • Green – 1
  • Independent – 1

Green +1, Independent +1, Labour -2

Labour majority – 35

There are no major changes here: Labour still dominates the Liverpool City Region. Its hold is strongest on Liverpool, and weakest on the Wirral.

But this exercise does illustrate the long term destruction wreaked upon the Liberal Democrats by the actions of Sir Nick Clegg, with his support for austerity measures introduced under the Conservative/LibDem coalition government formed in 2010. Liverpool City Council was run under majority LibDem control of the Liberal Democrats for over a decade up until the 2010 elections. In 2004, the party won 60 of the 90 seats.


Since then, though, its local support has been decimated, taking it from the 38 seats that it held immediately after their unsuccessful 2010 local election campaign to the 7 that it now holds. Its vote share locally doesn't look like recovering significantly enough to challenge for power any time soon, if ever. This has created a democratic deficit where I live.

One last thing. If Liverpool City Region were a single local authority area, it would be on a physical scale similar to the existing City of Leeds local authority area, as previously discussed last September. Such an entity would be one of the most significant local authority area in the UK – and would receive commensurate national and global attention and inward investment. 

Dave Mail is CityMetric's Liverpool City Region correspondent. He will be updating us on the brave new world of Liverpool City Region, mostly monthly, in 'E-mail from Liverpool City Region' and he is on twitter @davemail2017.

 
 
 
 

CityMetric is now City Monitor! Come see us at our new home

City Monitor is now live in beta at citymonitor.ai.

CityMetric is now City Monitor, a name that reflects both a ramping up of our ambitions as well as our membership in a network of like-minded publications from New Statesman Media Group. Our new site is now live in beta, so please visit us there going forward. Here’s what CityMetric readers should know about this exciting transition.  

Regular CityMetric readers may have already noticed a few changes around here since the spring. CityMetric’s beloved founding editor, Jonn Elledge, has moved on to some new adventures, and a new team has formed to take the site into the future. It’s led by yours truly – I’m Sommer Mathis, the editor-in-chief of City Monitor. Hello!

My background includes having served as the founding editor of CityLab, editor-in-chief of Atlas Obscura, and editor-in-chief of DCist, a local news publication in the District of Columbia. I’ve been reporting on and writing about cities in one way or another for the past 15 years. To me, there is no more important story in the world right now than how cities are changing and adapting to an increasingly challenging global landscape. The majority of the world’s population lives in cities, and if we’re ever going to be able to tackle the most pressing issues currently facing our planet – the climate emergency, rising inequality, the Covid-19 pandemic ­­­– cities are going to have to lead the way.

That’s why City Monitor is now a global publication dedicated to the future of cities everywhere – not just in the UK (nor for that matter just in the US, where I live). Our mission is to help our readers, many of whom are in leadership positions around the globe, navigate how cities are changing and discover what’s next in the world of urban policy. We’ll do that through original reporting, expert opinion and most crucially, a data-driven approach that emphasises evidence and rigorous analysis. We want to arm local decision-makers and those they work in concert with – whether that’s elected officials, bureaucratic leaders, policy advocates, neighbourhood activists, academics and researchers, entrepreneurs, or plain-old engaged citizens – with real insights and potential answers to tough problems. Subjects we cover include transportation, infrastructure, housing, urban design, public safety, the environment, the economy, and much more.

The City Monitor team is made up of some of the most experienced urban policy journalists in the world. Our managing editor is Adam Sneed, also a CityLab alum where he served as a senior associate editor. Before that he was a technology reporter at Politico. Allison Arieff is City Monitor’s senior editor. She was previously editorial director of the urban planning and policy think tank SPUR, as well as a contributing columnist for The New York Times. Staff writer Jake Blumgart most recently covered development, housing and politics for WHYY, the local public radio station in Philadelphia. And our data reporter is Alexandra Kanik, whose previous roles include data reporting for Louisville Public Media in Kentucky and PublicSource in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Our team will continue to grow in the coming weeks, and we’ll also be collaborating closely with our editorial colleagues across New Statesman Media Group. In fact, we’re launching a whole network of new publications, covering topics such as the clean energy transition, foreign direct investment, technology, banks and more. Many of these sectors will frequently overlap with our cities coverage, and a key part of our plan is make the most of the expertise that all of these newsrooms combined will bring to bear on our journalism.

Please visit citymonitor.ai going forward, where you can also sign up for our free email newsletter.


As for CityMetric, some of its archives have already been moved over to the new website, and the rest will follow not long after. If you’re looking for a favourite piece from CityMetric’s past, for a time you’ll still be able to find it here, but before long the whole archive will move over to City Monitor.

On behalf of the City Monitor team, I’m thrilled to invite you to come along for the ride at our new digs. You can follow City Monitor on LinkedIn and on Twitter. If you’re interested in learning more about the potential for a commercial partnership with City Monitor, please get in touch with our director of partnerships, Joe Maughan.

I want to thank and congratulate Jonn Elledge on a brilliant run. Everything we do from here on out will be building on the legacy of his work, and the community that he built here at CityMetric. Cheers, Jonn!

To our readers, on behalf of the City Monitor team, thank you from all of us for being such loyal CityMetric fans. We couldn’t have done any of this without you.

Sommer Mathis is editor-in-chief of City Monitor.