Nottingham

Election results: Big gains for independents in Nottinghamshire

Ashfield Independents celebrating victory
Image caption Ashfield Independents won 30 out of 35 seats at Ashfield District Council

Independent candidates have enjoyed a remarkable night of election success in Nottinghamshire.

Nottingham Independents - formed last year - won three seats to become the second biggest party at Nottingham City Council.

And Ashfield Independents won 30 out of 35 seats to dominate Ashfield District Council.

In Mansfield, Labour candidate Andy Abrahams has been elected as the new mayor.

He defeated incumbent Kate Allsop, from the Mansfield Independent Forum, by only two votes.

Ms Allsop was elected in 2015 and was the second Executive Mayor of Mansfield following Tony Egginton's 12-year term.

Meanwhile, no party has an overall majority at Mansfield District Council.

Labour has maintained its huge majority at Nottingham City Council and held Gedling Borough Council and Bassetlaw.

However, a new Labour leader of Nottingham City Council was announced on Friday evening.

Councillor David Mellen will take over from Jon Collins.

Image caption Labour still has a massive majority at Nottingham City Council

Nottingham Independents picked up all three seats in Clifton East to become the city council's main opposition party.

Labour lost three seats but held 50 to give it a commanding majority. The Conservatives retained two seats.

The Ashfield Independents took control of the district council from Labour in April following a series of defections.

Now the group has a commanding majority with only three seats going to the Conservatives and two seats to Labour.

Leader Jason Zadrozny said: "Politics has been a bit of a mess in Ashfield for the last few years but this is a vindication of what we've done over the last year.

"We've worked damn hard to show that we can make a difference to all our towns and Ashfield Independents have done that in spectacular style tonight."

Analysis

By Hugh Casswell, BBC Nottingham political reporter

The Ashfield Independents didn't exist as a party four years ago, and only took control of the council with a vote of confidence last year.

They had been running it as a minority administration, but now they have almost completely and utterly wiped out Labour.

Clearly Labour had some internal issues in the local association, hence why they had all those defections a year ago, but now 30 of the 35 seats are held by the Independents.

These groups do exist in other parts of the country, and the Nottingham Independents are now the official opposition on the city council after taking all three seats in Clifton East.

Labour still have 50 out of 55 seats, though, so it will be portrayed as a good night for them.

Kevin Clarke, from Nottingham Independents, said: "We work in the community and we represent the community.

"We've broken the mould and I think we're going to go from strength to strength throughout Nottingham."

Elsewhere in the county, the Conservatives lost Broxtowe Borough Council to no overall control.

While the Conservatives have held Newark and Sherwood, and Rushcliffe.

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