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RECAP: How Sunderland City Council elections 2022 unfolded - council leader keeps seat and Labour clings to power, while Lib Dems make gains

All election results are now in for Sunderland City Council.

Friday, 6th May 2022, 3:51 am

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This is how events unfolded.

Sunderland City Council leader Graeme Miller reacts as he retains his seat at Washington South Ward. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

LIVE: Sunderland City Council elections 2022

Last updated: Thursday, 05 May, 2022, 23:33

  • All results are now in for Sunderland
  • Council leader Graeme Miller keeps his seat despite strong campaign from opposition
  • Former deputy council leader Michael Mordey regains seat after being voted out in 2021
  • Labour has also kept power despite efforts by opposition parties to push it into overall control
  • The Lib Dems have claimed seats from both Labour and Tories

Seats up for election

The poll for the Copt Hill ward is being rearranged for a later date following the death of UKIP candidate Reginald Coulson, but elections for the other 24 seats on the city council are continuing as planned.

Of the 24 seats which will be decided on election night, 16 are currently held by Labour, five by Conservatives and three by Liberal Democrats.

The Copt Hill seat, to be contested at a later date, is also currently held by Labour.

Labour and Conservatives are both standing candidates for every seat, with the Liberal Democrats fielding candidates in 13 wards.

The Green Party are standing candidates in all but two wards, Washington South and Hetton.

Polling stations are open in all manner of buildings

Seats to watch in Sunderland

Key battles:

Washington South - the Lib Dems and Conservatives are aming to unseat council leader Councillor Graeme Miller, and he is very much aiming to stay.

Hendon - former deputy council leader Michael Mordey will be looking to return, having been voted out in the ward last year, losing to the Lib Dems.

Hetton - present deputy leader Councillor Claire Rowntree will be aiming to hold her seat, after the party won a tight by-election in the area in 2021.

Pallion - Labour has put up sitting St Anne’s councillor Karen Noble to try and prise a seat from the Liberal Democrats

St Anne’s - Susan Watson will therefore be looking to hold the St Anne’s seat for Labour, after she lost out in the ward by three votes to Conservative Councillor Greg Peacock last year.

Ryhope - The Conservatives will be looking to make gains from Labour where they were successful last time out.

Silksworth - The Tories narrowly lost out by 47 votes in 2021 and will be hoping to close the gap this year

Voters have until 10pm to cast their ballots

How things stand on Sunderland City Council

Labour has held control of Sunderland City Council for almost half a century – since its current incarnation was created in 1973.

However after a run of poor election results, the party has a majority of just six councillors.

And opposition parties are gunning to end Labour’s rule and push the council into overall control

Labour currently holds 43 out of 75 seats on the council, with the Conservatives the second-largest party with 19 seats, followed by the Liberal Democrats with 12.

There is one Independent on the city council, Ryhope Councillor Steven Bewick, who was initially elected as a UKIP representative, before quitting the party last year.

Elsewhere in the North East

Where to watch elsewhere in the North East on election night

By Daniel Holland

“The Lib Dems, Greens, and Newcastle Independents all fancy their chances of taking advantage of the ruling party’s turmoil and making it a baptism of fire for new leader Nick Kemp. Newcastle’s Conservatives, meanwhile, are bidding to win a seat on the council for the first time since 1992 and are pushing hard in Gosforth.

“Opposition parties will also hope to make dents in the commanding Labour majorities in Gateshead and South Tyneside too, though in North Tyneside it may be coastal Tory seats that are worth keeping an eye on after the party was embroiled in rows over alleged abuse of the furlough scheme and leaflets mimicking the Green Party.

“Whatever happens, come Friday afternoon we should have a better idea of whether Labour has been able to turn the Government’s recent scandals to its advantage and just how treacherous that climb up the electoral mountain in the North East still is.”

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