Labour gain first win in Rushmoor

Labour councillors in Rushmoor
Labour captured Rushmoor District Council for the first time in 50 years [BBC]

Labour has taken control of Rushmoor Council for the first time, following the local elections.

Elsewhere in Hampshire, Liberal Democrats kept hold of Winchester and Eastleigh while Portsmouth remains under no overall control.

Conservative Donna Jones has won another term as Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), receiving almost 70,000 more votes than her closest rival, Labour's Becky Williams.

But in Havant Conservative council leader Alex Rennie lost his seat as the Tories lost their majority but remained the largest party - winning 13 seats to Labour's 10, while the Lib Dems won seven, the Greens got four and Reform finished on two.

Election count
Counts took place overnight for a number of local authorities in Hampshire [BBC]

Seats on six district councils in the county were up for election, as well as a third of the seats on Portsmouth and Southampton city councils.

Labour councillor Gareth Williams said its win in Rushmoor showed voters had "put their trust" in the party.

His party gained seven wards in Rushmoor, which includes Aldershot, the home of the British army.

The Lib Dems gained one seat and the Conservatives lost eight.

Since the authority was created in 1974, it has only ever been Conservative, or under no overall control.

Mr Williams said: "The fact that we have won this seat, the home of the British army, shows the Labour Party has changed under Kier Starmer.

"People are ready to put their trust in Labour under Kier."

Conservative Gareth Lyon said Labour had run a "vicious, nasty campaign".

"It's always easy to make it about the national picture. We have relentlessly run on local issues, trying to put forward our positive image for the local area," he added.

Elsewhere, The Women's Equality Party won its first council seat when Stacy Hart was elected to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

She told BBC Radio 5 Live the result showed "people are ready to vote for equality".

"They want change, they want parties who are proactive, collaborative and hopeful and will bring equality as a through-thread to their policy making," she added.

Counting in Basingstoke concluded mid-afternoon, and the council remained under no overall control with the Conservatives as the largest party despite losing eight seats.

Stacey Hart
Stacy Hart became the first Women’s Equality Party representative to win a seat on a local council [BBC]

On Portsmouth City Council, the Tories lost four seats.

The unitary authority remains under no overall control with the Lib Dems as the largest party.

Labour held on to Southampton City Council but did lose two seats from its previous total and now has 36 councillors.

There was one seat gained for both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

The council was given £121m of government support through a capitalisation directive earlier this year after it said it faced effectively going bankrupt without help.

Labour leader Lorna Fielker, said the results showed residents "trust Labour to deliver for them".

"We're going to bring this city forward into a modern new sustainable future."

In Gosport, council leader Peter Chegwyn said he was "over the moon" after the Lib Dems held on to to control.

The party was defending nine seats and lost one.

"I am absolutely delighted and extremely grateful to the people of Gosport for voting in such numbers," he said.

In Eastleigh, the party celebrated three decades years in control of the borough council.

Leader Keith House said: "We’ve won the council elections 30 years in a row, and we have a pretty amazing record of holding every seat we were trying to defend, which is really good."

The Conservatives managed to retain control of neighbouring Fareham Borough Council.

They did lose five seats from their previous majority but they still remain firmly in control, with 22 councillors out of an overall 32.

The Greens won a seat on Winchester City Council, giving them three seats on the authority.

The Lib Dems remain in control, picking up four seats while the Conservatives lost five.

Hart council had 12 of its 33 council seats up for election.

The Liberal Democrats gained one seat which means they are still the biggest party in the area, with 12 councillors.

But they are closely followed by the Residents' Association, which now has a total of 11 councillors after gaining one seat overnight.

The council stays under no overall control with the Conservatives as the largest party, despite losing seven seats.

Labour and Lib Dems both have 11 seats, the Greens have two, and 14 seats are held by independents and other parties.

Results for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police and Crime Commissioner are also due on Friday.

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