Responding to the 2022 London local election results, Nick Bowes, Chief Executive, Centre for London, said:
“The Tories in London are bound to be disappointed, with key strongholds Wandsworth, Westminster and Barnet turning red. These losses cannot be attributed to any one factor, but the disillusionment with the current government – which has seen even the most successful local councils flipping from blue to red – clearly contributed to the tsunami. Other factors that have played a role in the re-painting of the political map include Labour shaking off the Corbyn years, continuing demographic shifts, and the hangover from Brexit.
It’s not a clean sweep for Labour, however, with the party seeing losses in Enfield and the defeat of the leader of Merton council. The Greens and Lib Dems will also be pleased with the results so far, with the Tories left with handfuls of councillors or overtaken as the opposition in formerly blue boroughs like Redbridge, Richmond and Merton. Despite the Tories’ best efforts, Sutton staying Lib Dem was a result easy to miss.
New councils may well be emboldened to speed up projects that reallocate road space away from vehicles, with the opposition to Low traffic neighbourhoods looking like the dog that didn’t bark. With big changes in key boroughs that have resisted some of the bigger public realm changes seen elsewhere, it is going to be fascinating to see what happens in the West End, particularly given the recent unease between a Labour City Hall and Tory boroughs.
Prospects for solving London’s critical challenges like TfL funding and securing other forms of government investment look much more difficult in light of the city looking significantly less important to the Tory government this morning. An already fractious relationship with the national government and the capital could well worsen.”ENDS
Notes to editors
- Centre for London is the capital’s dedicated think tank. Our mission is to develop new solutions to London’s critical challenges and advocate for a fair and prosperous global city.