Wirral Council’s election produces a major shock for Labour Jason Walsh, the Green Party’s victorious candidate in Bebington. (Photo: LDRS)
By George Morgan
WIRRAL Council’s elections produced a major shock as Labour lost what was once a very safe seat for the party.
The Green Party gained Bebington from Labour in a result few would have thought possible just a couple of years ago.
Labour also lost two more seats, Prenton, and Birkenhead and Tranmere, to the Greens in what was a poor showing for the party.
These Green gains, as well as a Labour gain from an Independent in Rock Ferry, mean Labour now has just 30 of Wirral’s 66 councillors, leaving the party well short of the majority it had until 2019.
Elsewhere, the Conservatives gained Pensby and Thingwall, an area which voted Labour the last time this seat was up for grabs in 2016, before the candidate left Labour to become an Independent.
But it was a ward which went Tory in the 2019 elections, when Cllr Mike Collins won the seat.
Labour can take comfort in the fact they held onto Leasowe and Moreton East after a strong Conservative challenge. The party also unexpectedly pushed the Tories hard in Wallasey.
Labour’s overall vote share was a healthy 40 per cent, compared to the Conservatives at 33 per cent, the Green Party’s 16 per cent and the Lib Dems at 10 per cent.
But this set of election results will make things far more difficult for Labour council leader Janette Williamson, who will have to win over several opposition councillors to get votes through.
To pass Labour motions, the party will now need the support of four opposition councillors, compared to just two before this year’s results.
Reacting to the historic result, Green councillor Jason Walsh, the party’s successful Bebington candidate, said: “I’m absolutely over the moon, absolutely thrilled. The people in Bebington have voted for change.”
For Labour, Cllr Williamson said: “I think we’ve done really well in Wirral.
“You’ve just mentioned how it’s playing out nationally, but we’ve stayed roughly where we were.”
(Local Democracy Reporting Service)