Labour loses control of Durham County Council for the first time in a century

Labour has lost control of Durham County Council.Labour has lost control of Durham County Council.
Labour has lost control of Durham County Council.
Labour’s weekend woes went from bad to worse as it lost control of Durham County Council.

The party, which has controlled the authority for roughly a century, remains the largest single political group, but fell well short of a majority in the council chamber.

Before polls opened on Thursday, 69 of the 126 council seats were red, but this was slashed to just 53.

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The Conservatives were the big winners of the night, more than doubling their representation from 10 to 24 with big gains outside their traditional stronghold in the south of the county.

The Liberal Democrat cohort also increased by two, but this was not enough to stop them being leapfrogged by the Tories, who replaced them as the county council’s second largest political group.

While Labour remains the biggest party, it remains uncertain who will emerge to lead the council following discussions among the various leaders ahead of the Annual County Council meeting later this month (May 26).

Final councillor tallies:

Labour – 53

Conservatives – 24

Liberal Democrat – 17

Green – 1

Derwentside Independents – 5

The North East Party – 4

Independent – 22