While no-one was turning cartwheels by gaining an overall majority, Labour will be much the happier party following Calderdale Council’s May 2018 elections.
Calderdale remains no overall control but Labour, who have been running the council on a minority basis, remain the largest party having gained one net seat.
With the majority of the 17 seats on offer this year being held, some more comfortably than others, the few gains swirled back and forwards and at the end of the day Labour were delighted to finish one up.
The state of the parties is now Labour 24 seats (up one), Conservatives 20 (down one), Liberal Democrats six (up one) and Independents one (down one).
The Conservatives would have been more hopeful and suffered the biggest shock of the day at the North Bridge Leisure Centre, Halifax, count when Labour took Skircoat ward for what is believed to be the first time in Calderdale’s 44 year history.
Labour’s Colin Hutchinson ousted senior Conservative Andrew Tagg by just 54 votes in the closest race of the day.
Steven Leigh made a gain for the Conservatives when he edged out defending candidate Rob Holden, who had switched from the party to an Independent banner in Ryburn.
It was a close run thing, just 149 votes in it, but the flag of independence is still flying in Hipperholme and Lightcliffe where Colin Raistrick fended off a challenge from Conservative James Pillai to retain his seat with a 217 majority.
The Conservatives fell to a Labour push in Luddenden Foot, Jill Smith-Moorhouse losing out to Scott Patient by 558 votes, while the Liberal Democrats will be pleased with their work in Warley ward, gaining the seat from Labour.
Marilyn Greenwood also held her Greetland and Stainland seat for the party, but elsewhere signs of a major Liberal Democrat revival were harder to find even in wards like Calder and Todmorden which have won them representation in the past.
On the evidence of this poll, it is not obvious where the UKIP vote, significant the last time all 17 seats were up for grabs at a Calderdale election two years ago, went.
And the Green Party did not take any major share on a day when support for the two largest parties, Labour and Conservative, largely held up.
Perhaps an early indicator of the way today’s (Friday, May 4) count was going came when one of the day’s biggest cheers went up from Labour when Angie Gallagher held the Elland seat fending off a strong Conservative challenge, David Collins just 90 votes behind.
At the end of the day, it was Labour leader Tim Swift who was wearing the widest smile.
Howard Blagborough (Con) – 2065
Jennie Rigg (Lib Dem) – 134
Kate Sweeny (Green) – 107
Oliver George Willows (Lab) – 1238
CON HOLD BRIGHOUSE
Sarah Courtney (Lab) – 3075
Richard Marshall (Con) – 1015
Donal Antony Martin O’Hanlon (Lib Dem) – 460
Jenny Shepherd (Green) – 399
LAB HOLD CALDER
David Collins (Con) – 1417
Barry Crossland (Green) – 169
Angie Gallagher (Lab) – 1507
Michael Wallace Whiting (Lib Dem) – 302
LAB HOLD ELLAND
GREETLAND & STAINLAND
Mike Barnes (Lab) – 498
Marilyn Greenwood (Lib Dem) – 1706
Mark Mullany (Green) – 112
Oliver Darryl Williams (Con) – 1098
LIB DEM HOLD GREETLAND & STAINLAND
HIPPERHOLME & LIGHTCLIFFE
Steven Cliberon (Lab) – 600
Martin John Hey (Green) – 110
Alisdair McGregor (Lib Dem) – 105
James Pillai (Con) – 1267
Colin Raistrick (Ind) – 1484
INDEPENDENT HOLDS HIPPERHOLME & LIGHTCLIFFE
ILLINGWORTH & MIXENDEN
Guy Beech (Con) – 1005
Sean Loftus (Ind) – 103
Alexander Parsons-Hulse (Lib Dem) – 65
Angela Street (Green) – 118
Dan Sutherland (Lab) – 1398
LAB HOLD ILLINGWORTH & MIXENDEN
Catherine Crosland (Lib Dem) – 307
Scott Patient (Lab) – 1984
Michael Prior (Green) – 150
Jill Smith-Moorhouse (Con) – 1428
LAB GAIN LUDDENDEN FOOT
NORTHOWRAM & SHELF
Stephen Baines (Con) – 2119
Jon Grinham (Lib Dem) – 96
Elaine Hey (Green) – 151
Daniel Manning (Yorkshire Party) – 174
Helen Sutcliffe (Lab) – 808
CON HOLD NORTHOWRAM & SHELF
Katherine Horner (Green) 194
John Reynolds (Lib Dem) 78
Helen Rivron (Lab) 1043
Gill Tolley (Con) 583
LAB HOLD OVENDEN
Amjad Bashir (Con) – 245
Surraya Bibi (Ind) – 1742
Finn Jensen (Green) – 143
Mohammed Naeem (Lab) – 2800
LAB HOLD PARK
Regan Dickenson (Con) – 1945
Kathy Haigh-Hutchinson (Lib Dem) – 154
Peter Judge (Labour and Co-operative) – 1213
Angharad Turner (Green) – 123
CON HOLD RASTRICK
Robert Holden (Ind) – 1302
Steven Leigh (Con) – 1451
Rosemary Tatchell (Lib Dem) – 131
David Veitch (Labour and Co-operative) – 805
Katie Witham (Green) – 98
CON GAIN RYBURN
Sean Bamforth (Lib Dem) – 196
Colin Hutchinson (Lab) – 2017
Anne Nelson (Green) – 127
Andrew Tagg (Con) – 1963
LAB GAIN SKIRCOAT
Jeff Featherstone (Con) – 1259
Dot Foster (Lab) – 1636
John Nesbitt (Green) – 152
Tom Stringfellow (Lib Dem) – 186
LAB HOLD SOWERBY BRIDGE
Janet Battye (Lib Dem) – 630
Jacob Cook (Con) – 704
Chris Jackson (National Front) – 98
Susan Press (Lab) – 1976
Kieran Turner (Green) – 232
LAB HOLD TODMORDEN
Mark Edwards (Con) – 971
Alan McDonald (Green) – 127
Bob Metcalfe (Lab) – 1392
Benjamin Simmons (Lib Dem) – 102
LAB HOLD TOWN
Frank Holt (Green) – 58
Amanda Parsons-Hulse (Lib Dem) – 1869
Shakir Saghir (Con) – 648
Audrey Smith (Lab) – 1463
LIB DEM GAIN WARLEY