By James Slater of Local Leader Mag

In what was yet another close election, Labour has gained full control of Bradford Council after winning seats from the Tories and Lib Dems. Labour fought off not only Ukip, but also cleaned up leaving no seats for George Galloway’s Respect Party. This year’s local elections took place on Thursday, 22 May to elect 31 councillors to the authority and results were counted on Friday, 23 May.

Overall, just above a third of the eligible voters took part in the local elections with turnout in Bradford at 37.9%. Labour won 17 seats in this year’s local elections giving them a majority control with 46 seats on the Council. No Party has controlled the Council with a majority since Labour lost control in 2000.

Nevertheless, Labour weren’t the only winners on the night though with a UKIP surge. They came second in a large number of wards but only won a single seat in Keighley West with a 166 vote majority over sitting Labour councillor Keith Dredge. The Conservative Party were the biggest losers on the night after losing Thornton & Allerton and Bowling & Barkerend to the Labour Party. The Liberal Democrats kept their three seats in and the Greens held Shipley.

One of the closest results in the Bradford District was in Bradford Moor where sitting Labour councillor, Mohammed Shafiq only just held on to his seat with a 56 vote majority after a tough challenge from former councillor, Riaz Ahmed for the Lib Dems. Cllr Shafiq said “I was so pleased to be supported from people representing all sections of our community. I will continue to work hard throughout my next four year term.”

The Respect party failed to make any impact this year, with no councillors elected throughout. They stood mainly in wards in the centre of Bradford where they came second in most wards though in Little Horton they came second with almost 2,500 extra votes required to beat Labour’s Naveeda Ikram. Former Lord Mayor, Cllr Naveeda Ikram who won Little Horton ward with 76% of the vote, told us that “people are feeling let down by Respect – they have had no policies and no local agenda and made false promises to people. People have generally felt it was time to come back to Labour and the record we have of working hard in the ward.” The results from Respect are in sharp decline compared to that they received in the last elections held in 2012. Perhaps the most sensational result of the night came in Toller ward where Deputy Leader of the Council, Imran Hussain, took over 80% of the vote – taking 4,850 votes compared to Respect’s 660.

Respect lost made no gains and remain a Party with no councillors and one MP. George Galloway, who did not attend the count, but took to Twitter to express his opinion on the recent elections. “It’s with regret I inform you that feudal reactionary “biradari” Labour politics is back in power in Bradford City Council. God help us.

“Thanks to the thousands who voted Respect yesterday and the candidates who braved foul weather and worse. We lost but we’ll be back.” He Tweeted

The Peace Party also lost their only councillor in Heaton ward where Labour’s Nussrat Mohammed won with 1,784 votes compared to Peace’s 985.

The majority Labour now means that the Labour Party may not have to rely on other parties or independents to push their plans through. So what does this mean for Bradford? Time will tell.

Do drop us a line and give us your thoughts on Bradford local elections. Is a Labour Majority good or bad for the District? Does ‘biraderi’ politics still exist in Bradford? Drop a line to James.Slater on facebook or Tweet to @AsianSunNews

LABOUR WINS (17): Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor, City, Clayton and Fairweather Green, Great Horton, Heaton, Keighley Central, Keighley East, Little Horton, Manningham, Royds, Thornton and Allerton, Toller, Tong, Wibsey, Windhill and Wrose, Wyke.

CONSERVATIVE WINS (7): Baildon, Bingley, Bingley Rural, Craven, Ilkley, Wharfedale, Worth Valley.

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT WINS (3): Bolton and Undercliffe, Eccleshill, Idle and Thackley.

UKIP win in Keighley West, Green Party in Shipley and Independent candidates Chris Atkinson in Craven and Paul Cromie in Queensbury.