Local Elections 2021: Rotherham Council stays Labour but Tories pick up 20 seats

Credit: PA

Labour has managed to retain control of Rotherham Council, but have lost ground to the Conservatives who picked up 20 seats.

The Tories had no councillors before the "all-out" election but have continued the progress they made in South Yorkshire in the 2019 General Election.

The Independent Candidates on the council lost out as 11 of them lost seats, the Liberal Democrats picked up 2 seats to increase their vote share to 3.

Analysis by ITV Calendar Political Correspondent Harry Horton

As results continue to trickle in, there's a clear picture across our region beginning to emerge: Labour struggles.

In Sheffield, the party has lost out to the Lib Dems and the Greens. It means the council is now under no overall control, and the parties will have to thrash out a deal to govern. In other areas, it's the Conservatives that have taken advantage.

In Rotherham, the Conservatives had no councillors before this week. Now there's 20 of them. In Wakefield, Labour remains in charge but have lost six seats to the Tories. In Kirklees, Labour were hoping to regain control of the council. That seems highly unlikely now.

If you speak to senior Conservatives in our region, they think there's been a fundamental shift in areas once considered Labour heartlands. They say election results this year are proof the 2019 general election wasn't an anomaly. 

Labour activists are glum. The coming weeks and months will see a lot of debate and soul searching within the party.

The party has had some success in parts of Yorkshire and is optimistic about winning West Yorkshire's first mayor. But this region is more marginal than it has been for decades - and will be a key battleground for in the next few years.