Norfolk politics—a new era? 2023

It is difficult to recall a time when so much political change occurred in Norfolk in a single day.

Three of the councils in a county with a longstanding reputation for being reliably conservative have lost overall control.

The Tories lost 12 seats in Broadland, including their leader’s.

In Kings Lynn and West Norfolk, they lost seven seats, bringing to an end 20 years of Conservative control over the local authority.

Send a note to the government

The Tories lost control in Great Yarmouth due to a one-vote majority in one of the seats.

All parties concur that electors sought to communicate with the government.

The cost of living and the National Health Service reportedly brought up frequently on the doorsteps.

Moreover, the fact that Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens, and Independents all made gains suggests that voters chose the candidate with the greatest chance of unseating the incumbent Conservative.

Will this fury be short-lived, or is Norfolk politics entering a new era?

Conservatives in Norfolk lose councils and seats.

Clearly, the opposition parties are delighted with their gains, but there will be inquiries into why they did not perform better.

The Liberal Democrats lost five seats in their North Norfolk stronghold, where they had anticipated further gains (although the party claims it won the popular vote in the actual constituency).

Despite a significant effort that included a visit by Sir Keir Starmer, Labour failed to gain control of Great Yarmouth and lost seats to the Greens in its two traditional bases of support.

A party seeking to win the upcoming national election might have been anticipated to perform better in these areas.

This is why the Conservatives will not be entirely dejected after these elections. They believe that voter support for the other parties is quite tenuous and that the party’s traditional adherents will return. At the very least, they hope so.

However, politics in Norfolk have recently become somewhat more vibrant.

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