Observer editor Rob George takes a look at the results on the morning after the long night before…
IT’S A NIGHT which once again showed the pieces of the snow globe of politics in Worcester and indeed across Britain have still yet to settle.
Gone are the days of Tory areas and Labour areas where the Greens and Liberal Democrats can venture into, none more so than in Worcester.
For every Tory success such as Gorse Hill, there’s the defeat in St Peter’s Parish. For the Labour victory in Nunnery there’s the disappointment it didn’t win back Gorse Hill.
And then there’s the Green Party, this election winning machine which for the first time won two seats in one night and now has a real enclave of voters across the Battenhall and St Peter’s boundary lines.
Against the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis and Partygate there may be relief in Conservative circles the party lost just three seats – certainly the message of ‘disaster’ and ‘getting a kicking’ earlier in the night didn’t come to pass.
Or did it? In Battenhall – a safe Tory seat a decade ago – the Green Party won it four years ago by 99 votes, this year the gap was a staggering 948 votes.
A deeply divisive, poisonous and controversial campaign in Bedwardine, a Tory stronghold and won by more than 500 votes in 2018, saw victory for the party by just 23 votes. The potential for this seat overall to cause more fractures within Worcester’s Conservatives.
Even the success in Gorse Hill only saw the Tories retain their share of the vote, had the Labour and Green vote not split, the party would not have won the seat.
A swing against the Conservatives of some 500 votes saw them lose the Nunnery seat only won 12 months ago.
Equally there is no great surge shown by Labour, Gorse Hill should have been won back given the 32-vote defeat in 2018 and there will be questions whether a ‘pact’ ought to be have been made in that seat and indeed Bedwardine given the narrow victory there.
But when you consider the decimation of the party in the city and county seats in 2021, Labour’s retention of all the seats it held and a gain in Nunnery perhaps represents at the very least signs of the party’s woes levelling out.
As the sun rises on another day in Worcester though we are back on familiar ground at the Guildhall, no one party in control for at least another 12 months.
Maybe it’s a good idea to kick them out every four years??
Click here to see how the night unfolded.