The government was shown exactly what the public thinks of it when Brits took to the ballot boxes on Thursday 3 May.
There were 5,000 seats up for grabs on 181 local councils across England, Scotland and Wales. The coalition was given a battering as both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats experienced crushing defeats, to Labour’s gain.
In England Labour now has control of 61 councils, up by 22, and 1,188 councillors, an increase of 534. The Conservatives lost control of 10 councils and 328 councillors, giving them a total of 42 and 785. The Lib Dems lost control of one council in England, reducing their total to six, and they now have 289 councillors, a loss of 190.
Along with Great Yarmouth, Norwich is one of the cities in which Labour has gained overall control of a council, with the party increasing their seats in Norwich by three. Labour’s win is the first time that a party has held overall control over Norwich City Council since 2004.
The Conservatives admitted that they needed to reconnect with Norwich inhabitants after losing both of their councillors. Anthony Little, who ran for the Eaton seat, told the Norwich Evening News: “It was a hard campaign to fight. When you go door-to-door talking to people there were a lot of issues, mainly national.”
The Lib Dems and the Green party both had a mixed evening. Judith Lubbock retained her Eaton seat, but fellow Lib Dem David Fairbairn was defeated by Labour in Lakenham. The Green party made no losses but did not make any gains either. The city council consisted previously of 18 seats Labour, 15 Green, four Lib Dem and two Conservative, but this has changed to 21 Labour, 15 Green and three Lib Dem.
Only a fraction of people in Norwich chose to vote; the average figure per ward was 36.1%. The 37,001 votes marked a decrease from 2011’s 40,892. The turnout across the country was also low however, with the BBC reporting that the figure was 32%, the lowest in English local elections since 2000.