Labour has seized control of City of York Council on a sensational day which saw the authority's leader and its longest-serving councillor ousted at the city's local elections.

Here's how the afternoon unfolded.


THE final results in the City of York Council elections have just been confirmed.

The battered Liberal Democrats have held on to two seats in Haxby and Wigginton, with victories for Paul Firth and Ian Cuthbertson.

However, they lost one of their seats in the ward to the Tories, with Tony Richardson becoming a Conservative councillor.

It means the new make-up of City of York Council is: Labour 26, Conservatives 10, Liberal Democrats eight, Greens two, independents one.



ELECTION results day has just got better for Labour and darker for the Liberal Democrats.

Labour candidates Linsay Cunningham-Cross and Neil McIlveen have won two of the seats previously held by Lib Dems in Skelton, Rawcliffe and Clifton Without to take the party's tally on City of York Council to 26 with one result to come.

Conservative Joe Watt retained the other seat in the ward to take the Tories' total to nine.



THE man who is set to become York's new council leader says his party's stunning election victory has "not sunk in yet".

James Alexander was this afternoon in celebratory mood after the Labour party he heads claimed the six seats it needed for overall control of City of York Council, sending the Liberal Democrats tumbling from power.

At just 29, he is set to become one of the youngest council chiefs in the country, and the Holgate councillor, who took over as Labour leader a year ago, said: "It feels pretty good!

"I'm absolutely elated. We have performed better than I thought we would and our victory shows the tide has turned in York.

"Not only are the people of the city fed up with the Liberal Democrats locally, they are fed up with them nationally. We have always said York deserves better, and now the hard work starts here to deliver that for the city."

Fallen council leader Andrew Waller put a philosophical face on the Lib Dems' local election annihilation, which has seen them lose 13 seats with the results of two wards still to be announced.

"I'm naturally disappointed, but these outcomes happen in democracy, and now we have to look to the next election and how we can organise ourselves and get ready for that," said the former Westfield councillor.

"I'm proud of our achievements for the city and what we have delivered. We have done a lot of good work and I want to thank the people within my party and the council who have helped me as leader and helped York stay resilient against the recession."

Asked what the future held for him now, Mr Waller said: "I have worked in the chocolate industry and the railway industry, and York has a diverse economy so I am looking forward to getting out there.

"But I feel for a lot of people within the party who have dutifully served their communities and have been caught up in the national political picture."

Meanwhile, Steve Galloway, who preceded Mr Waller as leader and was also the council's influential executive member for city strategy, made an abrupt exit from the Energise centre moments after learning he had lost his Westfield seat.

But in a message posted on Twitter shortly afterwards, the man who was York's longest-serving councillor - having been in the role for 38 years - wrote: "Not the result I hoped for, but thanks to those who voted for me."



LABOUR has seized control of City of York Council on a sensational day of election drama.

The party has retained its nine seats in Heworth, Micklegate and Holgate, which means it has the 24 councillors required for an overall majority.

Julie Gunnell, Dave Merrett and Sandy Fraser held off the Green Party challenge in Micklegate, with Labour leader James Alexander being re-elected in Holgate alongside Sonja Crisp and Joseph Riches. Barbara Boyce, Tina Funnell and Ruth Potter kept their Heworth seats on a day which has seen their party make six gains so far.

With the results from two wards still to be announced, the Liberal Democrats have been swept from power with a string of losses across the city, with their day just getting even worse as Madeleine Kirk has been defeated in Strensall, where Conservative candidates Sian Wiseman and Paul Doughty triumphed.

The make-up of the council now stands at 24 Labour councillors, eight Conservatives, six Lib Dems, two Greens and one independent, with six seats to be decided.



THE Liberal Democrats have suffered two more body blows as the local elections in York turn into a nightmare for the party.

Jonathan Morley, one of the members of the party's executive, has been ousted in Osbaldwick by independent candidate Mark Warters, while Conservative candidate George Barton has unseated Christian Vassie in Wheldrake.

One shaft of light for the Lib Dems is that Nigel Ayre has held onto his Heworth Without seat.



LABOUR have held onto the Guildhall ward, with long-standing councillors Janet Looker and Brian Watson being re-elected.

The Energise centre is still in something of a state of shock following the Westfield result. It means Steve Galloway departs after 38 years as a councillor, while Andrew Waller is voted out in York for a second time.



A RECOUNT is being held in the Skelton, Rawcliffe and Clifton Without ward.

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrats Keith Hyman, Keith Orrell and Carol Runciman have all been re-elected in Huntington and New Earswick.



THE results have been flooding in at the City of York Council election count, with Labour on the verge of taking power.

The party has won the six seats it needs for overall control, with three of those being in the crunch Westfield ward as Liberal Democrat council leader Andrew Waller and his predecessor Steve Galloway, the city's longest-serving councillor, were both ousted.

Labour has also claimed two seats in Dringhouses and Woodthorpe, taking the scalp of sitting councillor Tom Holvey, and David Levene has won Heslington, the former seat of retiring Lib Dem-turned-independent Ceredig Jamieson-Ball.

The results so far mean Labour has the 24 seats it needs for a majority and now only needs to hold on to those it currently occupies.

Its Acomb councillors, Tracey Simpson-Laing and David Horton, have both retained their seats, while Keith Aspden has held onto Fulford for the Lib Dems. Andy D'Agorne and Dave Taylor have retained Fishergate for the Greens.

Meanwhile, Conservative group leader Ian Gillies and his deputy Paul Healey have both been re-elected in Rural West York, with Chris Stewart completing a Tory clean sweep.



Greens Dave Taylor and Andy D'Agorne have just held Fishergate in York.

A recap then of where we are so far..... Labour have gained three from the Lib Dems in Westfield and two from them in Dringhouses and Woodthorpe.

The Conservatives have held Bishopthorpe and Derwent wards.

Labour have held Acomb's two seats.

The Greens have held Fishergate's two seats.

The current make up, after 15 seats is ten Labour, one Lib Dem, two Tories and two Greens. ..........


YORK'S council leader and its longest-serving councillor have been sensationally ousted from power.

Andrew Waller and Steve Galloway have both lost their seats on City of York Council as Labour swept the board in the Westfield ward.

Labour have also picked up two more seats in Dringhouses and Woodthorpe, with incumbent councillor Tom Holvey losing his seat. The results mean the party only need one more seat for overall control of the authority as long as they hold onto their existing seats.



JOHN Galvin has been re-elected for the Conservatives in the Bishopthorpe ward, while Jenny Brooks has also retained her seat for the Tories in Derwent.

Coun Galvin polled 908 votes, with Carole Green coming second for the Liberal Democrats with 488, while Coun Brooks, whose son is getting married tomorrow, has an early reason to celebrate after claiming 943 votes. Linda Maggs was runner-up for the Lib Dems, polling 562 votes.



The next results will be from Bishopthorpe and Derwent wards.



THE first result has just been announced in the City of York Council election.

Ken King, David Scott and Helen Douglas have all been re-elected in Clifton for Labour.

Coun Douglas led the way with 1,655 votes, followed by Coun King with 1,522 and Coun Scott with 1,395.



RESULTS are looming in the City of York Council elections - you can see them first on our Twitter feed at vote_2011.



THE Green Party now believe Labour have held onto all three seats in Micklegate, while senior Labour councillors say their party may have taken all three seats in Westfield.

The first results are expected within the next few minutes.



WE'RE getting some firmer predictions from seats across the City of York Council area, but are still waiting for the first declarations.

In Fulford, sitting Lib Dem Keith Aspden says he thinks he has held the seat.

A senior Lib Dem councillor, who asked not to be named, says he will be happy if his party remains in double-figures, given how events are unfolding.

In Micklegate, there is a very large bundle of split votes, suggesting the Greens may be in with a shout here.

The Conservatives are all talking as if they've taken Wheldrake from the Lib Dems.

A few Labour candidates and agents say they think they've taken Heslington from the Lib Dems.

In Osbaldwick, a lot of people are saying they think independent candidate Mark Warters has taken the seat from the Lib Dems.

Liberal Democrats in their strongholds of Dringhouses and Woodthorpe, Haxby and Wigginton, and Westfield continue to look very concerned.



A CLEARER picture is beginning to emerge of the way the City of York Council election outcome is heading.

The ruling Liberal Democrats are believed to have big problems holding onto their monopoly in the Westfield and Dringhouses and Woodthorpe wards, with some rumours suggesting they may even face being wiped out in the two areas.

They are also believed to be facing losses in Wheldrake, Strensall and Skelton, Rawcliffe and Clifton Without, although their prospects are brighter in Fulford and Heworth Without, both wards which they currently hold.

The Conservatives look set for gains in Haxby and Wigginton and Wheldrake while holding onto Rural West York, while independent candidate Mark Warters is believed to be in with a good chance of victory in Osbaldwick.

Labour are thought to have held off the Lib Dem challenge in Holgate and to also have retained Guildhall, despite pressure from the Green Party, who may also claim a seat from Labour in Micklegate.



LABOUR leader James Alexander believes the election race in York is "too close to call", but says: "We have clearly done well".

Much of the interest at the count continues to be focused around the Westfield ward, the Liberal Democrat stronghold of incumbent leader Andrew Waller and his predecessor Steve Galloway. All three Lib Dem seats are now thought to be in serious danger.



A U-TURN has been made predictions-wise by one of York's election candidates, as Paul Healey, who is standing for the Conservatives in Rural West York, now feels Labour have a good chance of securing an overall majority.

Meanwhile, the rumour mill is suggesting Dringhouses and Woodthorpe - currently Liberal Democrat territory - could be split between parties or even fall entirely to Labour. Tom Holvey, one of the Lib Dem candidates for the ward, looks very downcast indeed.



MORE turnout figures have been confirmed for the City of York Council elections.

The totals for people who had their say in yesterday's poll topped 50 per cent in seven of the authority's 22 wards - Dringhouses and Woodthorpe, Bishopthorpe, Fulford, Heworth Without, Osbaldwick, Rural West York, Derwent and Wheldrake.

But turnout fell below 40 per cent in six other wards - Clifton, Guildhall, Heworth, Hull Road, Westfield and Heslington.



THERE are more pessimistic noises coming from the Liberal Democrat camp in York.

Keith Hyman, one of the party's candidates looking to retain their seats in Huntington and New Earswick ward, said: "I'm concerned the national trend may be repeated locally.

"That would obviously be a shame and we would lose some good, hard-working councillors."



PAUL Healey, one of the Conservative candidates for Rural West York, is one of the few bold enough to make a prediction. He says: "It will be interesting to see if Labour get a majority, which I don't think they will. It is not looking like a good day for the Lib Dems. I think they are now behind in too many seats."



Counting is beginning this morning at Energise in York, to decide who will run the city for the next four years. Follow the latest here.