Local elections: the Tories’ heavy council losses explained - The Standard podcast


After winning the Blackpool South by-election, Labour candidate Chris Webb said Blackpool has “had enough” of this current government, which has “lost trust of the British people”.

He won with a 26.33% swing, the third biggest from the Conservatives to Labour at a by-election since the Second World War.

The result was announced as local election results painted a similar picture for the Conservative Party, who lost hundreds of seats.

Figures from across the country suggest the Tories are on track for one of their worst local election results ever, and on Friday morning Rishi Sunak acknowledged what he called a “disappointing” series of local election results.

There were some glimmers of hope for the Tories though; they held onto the Tees Valley mayoralty, as Ben Houchen was re-elected in the face of a Labour challenge, and they also held onto Harlow Council in Essex by a single seat - one of the key marginal constituencies that Labour are targeting for the general election.

So, just how damning are the overall council losses for the Conservatives? And what is Rishi Sunak planning for his next move?

In this episode of the Standard podcast our deputy political editor Jitendra Joshi and our chief political correspondent Rachael Burford discuss the Conservatives' significant losses in the local elections and Labour's success in the Blackpool South by-election.

Plus, they consider how the PM could react to such damning election results, whether some Conservative MPs are still harbouring plans to oust him, and whether the local election results will alter the timing of the general election.

Listen above, find us on Apple, Spotify or wherever you stream your podcast.