Conservatives lose seats but keep running Plymouth City Council

East Devon leads the way in showing how essential it is for the “ABCs” (anyone but the conservatives) to form alliances and coalitions – they work! – Owl

The Conservatives will continue running Plymouth City Council despite suffering a twin by-election defeat.

Will Noble gained a seat for Labour in Moor View and the Greens’ Lauren McLay took Plympton Chaddlewood.

Following the election on Thursday, Labour has 25 seats and the Conservatives 23.

However, neither party has the 29 councillors needed for an overall majority.

Conservative leader Richard Bingley said he would not resign.

He blamed the defeats on “national issues” for his party and said the results were a “litmus test” for the Conservative government.

Will Noble, who won the Moor View ward for Labour, said: “There’s a lot of worry and disappointment at the way things have been run and the way things are going and it’s about trying to offer people a bit of hope that actually services and things can improve and that things won’t just get worse.”

presentational grey line

Analysis from Ewan Murrie, Political Reporter

It was a set of results that many Conservatives had privately expected – but the party will still be worried about the direction of travel.

Last night, the Greens clinched their second council seat in less than a year in the previously blue ward of Plympton Chaddlewood.

Labour says its win has bolstered hopes of winning back the Moor View parliamentary seat – which it lost to the Conservatives in 2015.

The Tory council leader has pinned blame for the defeats on his party’s national woes, calling the by-elections a “litmus test” for the government.

But infighting among the local Tory ranks will not have gone unnoticed. The group’s on its third leader since 2020 and has also lost scores of councillors.

Plymouth remains under no overall control.

Labour is unlikely to call a no confidence vote before the May elections – leaving the Tories to push through a difficult budget in February.

Lauren McLay said: “It means that we can hold the administration to account better.

“It means that we can scrutinise more. And it also means that we will be able to stand up and present our ideas a little bit more. But ultimately, I just hope that it means that the people that we represent have better representation.”

The election was prompted after the previous councillors stood down following complaints they had moved out of the area and could no longer serve local residents.

Turnout in Plympton Chaddlewood was 23.76% and in Moor View it was 26.04%.