ROTHERHAM Conservatives went from nought to 20 overnight — but a shell-shocked Labour held the council with 32 seats.
The Tories doubled their previous record level of representation on RMBC, having been without an elected member for half a decade.
Branch chairman Zach Collingham — elected yesterday for Thurcroft & Wickersley South ward — said: “It’s historic. We’re bringing fresh faces, new ideas, new ways of working.”
Simon Ball, successful in the Hellaby & Maltby West ward today, added: “We can’t wait to get going. I’m absolutely elated that we got in, it’s a fantastic team we’ve got and we’re going to put some energy back into the area.”
Maltby went mostly blue during today’s second half of the election count at Magna. The only Labour member to survive was mayor Jenny Andrews.
The Tories also gained at Aughton & Swallownest and — more surprisingly — Rawmarsh West.
The Liberal Democrats and Rotherham Democratic Party both added a third councillor to the two elected yesterday — meaning they can become formal parties on RMBC.
Firas Miro came top of the Rother Vale poll over Labour’s Amy Brookes, while the RDP trio was completed at Greasbrough by Rob Elliott, who was elected alongside Labour’s Sarah Allen.
Cllr Elliott said he was hugely relieved personally, but disappointed that RDP had been “decimated”.
He added: “We’ve lost some really good candidates. The way some wards have gone, I really had doubts about my place.
“We’ve got to see this as a stepping stone and we have to have a chat about where we go next.
“One plus is that we’re part of a bigger majority group, and I’m also delighted to continue working with Sarah Allen. We’re a team... I’m the legs and she’s the brains.”
Second-day casualties of the count at Magna earlier included Labour’s John Williams and Bob Walsh.
The party held both seats in the Kilnhurst & Swinton East, Rawmarsh East, Swinton Rockingham and Wath wards.
The second-day tally was 14 seats for Labour, five for the Tories and three others, including the sole independent, Michael Sylvester at Dalton & Thrybergh.
Labour finally got over the line at 2.46pm, with Alan Atkin and newcomer Sheila Cowen (above) the kingmakers.
It means the final make-up of the new-look RMBC is: 32 Labour members, 20 Conservatives, three RDP, three Lib Dems and one indie.
Labour MP John Healey said: “It has been a really tough election for Labour. There is still a good working majority on Rotherham Council but this is a big wake-up call. We have to demonstrate that we listen and can support people.”
Individual results can be found at: https://www.rotherham.gov.uk/elections.
See next week’s Advertiser for more coverage and analysis.