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Labour loses seats in Oxford City Council as Independents and Greens make gains

The Labour party has been reduced to 20 councillors out of 48 in the Oxford City Council as the Greens and the Independent Oxford Alliance made gains in extremely tight local elections. The developments in Oxford come amidst a resounding defeat for the Conservatives nationwide, who are expected to lose half of their seats up for election.

A total of 25 councillor seats were up for election this year, two in the ward of Blackbird Leys and one in every other. The Labour party lost two seats, while the Oxford Socialists Independents groups lost five. Their losses resulted in four seats gained for the Independent Oxford Alliance, two for the Greens and one for an Independent candidate. 

The new makeup of the council will be as follows:

  • Labour Group – 20 seats
  • Liberal Democrat Group – 9 seats
  • Green Group – 8 seats
  • Oxford Independent Alliance – 4 seats
  • Independent Group – 3 seats
  • Independent (non-grouped) – 3 seats
  • Oxford Socialist Independents Group – 1 seats

Last October, Labour lost its Oxford City Council majority for the first time since 2010 after nine councillors resigned over the party’s refusal to condemn Israel’s actions during the War in the Gaza Strip. 

Six of the councillors moved to form the Oxford Socialist Independents Group, and three formed the separate Independent Group. The resignations led to Labour losing its majority, which has meant that they have had to rely on support from the Liberal Democrats and the Greens to govern. With the losses for Labour and the for the Independent Socialists this election, their situation seems more precarious. 

Nationwide results so far show that the Conservatives are on track to lose around 500 councillor seats and key mayoral elections across the country. Part of the swing backwards for the Conservatives can be explained by their exceptionally strong electoral performance in 2021, when they made gains across the country. 

While initial results don’t seem much worse than expected, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will be facing significant discontent from his party if the losses are extreme. 

This article will be updated tomorrow when the counting for the Oxford Police and Crime Commissioner is completed.

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