Exceeding most expectations, the Labour Party saw significant success in Thursday’s Oxford City Council elections.

Oxford Mail reported Friday that Labour now control 35 out of 48 seats in the city council, while the Conservative Party continues to have no council representatives. Of the 24 seats contested in Thursday’s election, Labour won 18 and the Liberal Democrats won four. The Greens also held one of their seats, as did independent candidate Mike Haines.

The results mark a gain for Labour, who picked up two seats in Holywell and Iffley Fields from the Green Party. In Holywell, Oxford student Dan Iley-Williamson received 451 votes, beating his closest competitor, Andy McKay of the Liberal Democrats, by a margin of 168.

But fellow Oxonians Alex Curtis, who ran as a Conservative, and Harry Samuels, the Liberal Democrats candidate, were not as fortunate, both losing in Carfax to Labour Party candidate Alex Hollingsworth.

Deputy Leader of the Council and of the Labour Group Ed Turner, who won reelection in Rose Hill and Iffley, said in a statement that the election results were “confirmation that we are fantastic, diverse, liberal city and people love living here and helping to make it a fairer and more equal place.”

But the Conservatives had success in other parts of Oxfordshire, winning 12 seats in West Oxfordshire to Labour’s three and the Liberal Democrats’ two. Early results from Cherwell District Council also show victories for at least three Conservative candidates.

When asked about the disappointing results in the city of Oxford itself, Curtis told Cherwell, “Labour has strengthened its stranglehold on Oxford City Council. This means the need for opposition has become greater than ever. None of the 24 Conservative candidates was elected this year across Oxford, as the Labour Party machine outplayed us on this occasion. However, we will continue our fight as a party for better government in this city moving into next year’s county council elections and the 2018 city council elections.”

The Oxford turnout rate was 38 per cent for the city council elections.

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