Counting is underway across Sussex for this year’s local elections.

More than 400 council seats are up for grabs across the county from Chichester to Crawley and Wealden to Worthing.

While no results have been announced in Sussex so far, the Conservatives have lost more than 200 councillors and nine councils across England.

The party lost control of Plymouth, Medway and Stoke-on-Trent to Labour, while the Liberal Democrats won control of Windsor and Maidenhead, where the Conservative council leader lost his seat to a 22-year-old.

Initial results suggest Labour have made steady progress, gaining more than 100 councillors, but the majority of councils across England have yet to announce their results.

Responding to the first results, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “It’s always disappointing to lose hard-working Conservative councillors; they’re friends, they’re colleagues and I’m so grateful to them for everything they’ve done.

“In terms of the results, it’s still early, but what I am going to carry on doing is delivering on the people’s priorities - halving inflation, growing the economy, reducing debt, cutting waiting lists and stopping the boats.

“That’s what the people want us to do, that is what I’m going to keep hard at doing.”


Bexhill and Battle MP and rail minister Huw Merriman conceded that the Conservative Party had had a “really difficult night”.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: “I recognise that we changed our leader and the Prime Minister three times in a year, and this is the first opportunity the electorate have had to give their verdict on that, and it has not gone well so far.”

Labour MP for Hove Peter Kyle said that the party was “back and business” and that Labour was “hopefully moving towards government” at the general election next year.

He said: “We’re going to places where the Labour Party has not succeeded in for two decades.

“We have really moved forward tonight and Keir Starmer’s fingerprints are all over the gains we have made.

“The Labour Party is back in business, we are moving forward and hopefully we are moving towards government.”

The Argus:

The first results from Sussex are expected from Worthing at around lunchtime, with results from Brighton and Hove anticipated in the early afternoon.

The election was the first in the county to require voters to show a form of photo ID at polling stations in order to cast their ballot.

The Electoral Commission has admitted that the new requirement had “regrettably” led to some people being unable to vote.

It is not yet known how many people in Sussex were affected.

A spokesman for the Electoral Commission said: “We already know from our research that the ID requirement posed a greater challenge for some groups in society, and that some people were regrettably unable to vote today as a result. 

“It will be essential to understand the extent of this impact, and the reasons behind it, before a final view can be taken on how the policy has worked in practice and what can be learnt for future elections.”