Following the ballots cast yesterday 4th May, the results for councillors elected to represent Downham Market on the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk were announced today.
A total of 2534 votes were cast across the four wards of Downham Market, a slight increase on the 2470 cast last time in 2019 bucking a national trend where turnout was lower than seen previously.
In Downham Old Town ward, Labour’s Joshua Osborne took the seat from the Conservatives with 46.3% share of the vote. A new face to the borough council, he achieved a 10.6% swing from Conservatives to Labour. On the national level, the swing from Conservative to Labour was about 4.6% and varied based on location.
Josie Ratcliffe of Liberal Democrats held her seat in East Downham with 66.2% of the vote, an increase of 23.3% compared to the previous borough council election held in 2019.
In North Downham, the independent Andy Bullen held his seat with 31% vote share, despite a loss of 6.4% compared to 2019.
Conservatives held on to one Downham ward, South Downham, where Don Tyler received 37.2% of votes, which was a loss of 20.1% compared to 2019.
Across the whole borough, the Conservatives lost 8 seats meaning they lost their overall majority control in the council. Independents, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens all gained seats. They will now need to negotiate amongst themselves to see if they can form a coalition to control the council administration, or the council will continue to be controlled by a ‘minority’ Conservative administration.
In the rest of England, Labour and Liberal Democrats have made large gains in councillors and taking control of a number of councils. Conservatives lost over 1,000 councillors and lost control of over 48 councils. Greens and independents/others have also increased their numbers of councillors. While Greens have many councillors and are part of administration coalitions, 2023 is the first time in the UK that Greens have won a majority in a council, in nearby Mid Suffolk.
It’s very difficult to apply results from local elections to national politics. Local issues, popularity of independent councillors, and other factors mean local elections are quite unique. However, nationally Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens will be very pleased with these results while the Conservatives will see this as a defeat. If these trends hold for the general election which is likely to happen sometime next year, we are likely to see the Labour party back in government after 13 years.