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Conservatives make gains in English local elections

Friday, May 5, 2006

Most of the results have now been declared from the local elections that took place across England yesterday. The Conservative Party has made the biggest gains, winning 316 new council seats and gaining a net control of 11 new councils. The Liberal Democrat party also made some gains, getting an overall bigger share of the vote than Labour, but only winning a modest 18 or so extra councillors.

The British National Party has doubled its number of councillors, winning 11 seats in the Barking and Dagenham area, as well as a few elsewhere. The Green Party has won a few extra councillors. The RESPECT party won 12 seats on the council of Tower Hamlets, making them now the official opposition.

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Robin Wales has been re-elected as the Mayor for the London Borough of Newham, Dorothy Thornhill re-elected the Mayor of Watford and Steve Bullock re-elected as the Mayor for Lewisham. Results have not yet been announced for the election of the Mayor of Hackney.

In an immediate development, Tony Blair sacked Charles Clarke from the post of Home Secretary.

Initial estimations suggest that turnout was 36%, a reduction of three points compared to 2004.

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