2024 local election results: Oldham Labor loses control of council amid ‘Gaza backlash’

Oldham Labor has lost control of the council in northwest England, with the party losing seats to independents in five constituencies, according to the BBC.

The local authority now has no overall control, having been in power since 2011. Two former Labor councilors had left the party in the run-up to election day over the party’s stance on Gaza, local media suggest, a despite the support of the local Labor group. a ceasefire.

Outgoing councilor Paul Fryer said The Oldham Times: “Labor have been in power in Oldham for 13 years, maybe people are a little tired of Labour. In some parts of the district it is the Gaza issue that could make them lose the seat.”

Elections expert Rob Ford had said before the local elections that Oldham was among the seats worth watching to see if Labor was “struggling” in councils with above-average Muslim voter numbers, given the controversy about his position on the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

However, the Labor Party remains the largest party, with 27 seats. The Liberal Democrats are down one seat to nine, the Conservatives are down one to eight and there are 16 “independents and others”, according to the BBC’s tally.

Labor was in a precarious position heading into the contest, needing only to lose one seat to lose control.

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