The Liberal Democrats have become the largest party on Wokingham Borough Council following the results of local elections declared on Friday, May 5.

A total of 11 Liberal Democrats were elected—increasing their number on the council by three.

Three Labour councillors got elected, taking two new seats for the party. The Tories, meanwhile, got four councillors elected—but lost four seats.

It means the council will now be made up of 26 Liberal Democrats, 22 Conservatives, five Labour Party members and one independent.

The Liberal Democrats are still two seats shy of an overall majority. But if they and Labour decide to continue in a coalition—the Wokingham Borough Partnership—they will run the council together.

The coalition of Lib Dems, Labour and independents took control of the council from the Conservatives in the 2022 local elections.

Wokingham Borough Council leader, Liberal Democrat Clive Jones, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service he was “Really, really delighted.” He said: “We will look to work with other parties on the council so that the Liberal Democrats remain the administration of the council.”

He added: “When I joined the council seven years ago there were five Liberal Democrats, one Labour and 48 Conservatives. There are now only 22 Conservatives on the Borough Council. That is a huge difference.”

READ MORE: Election 2023 results across Bracknell and Wokingham

Meanwhile, Conservative group leader Pauline Jorgensen said she was encouraged by results in some of the wards. She said: “On the basis of the national picture, I’m quite heartened by the result. We started coming back in some of the seats in Earley, where we came very close.

“Residents are very unhappy with changes to the bin collections, they’re very unhappy with the state of the roads. We’re going to continue standing up for them.”

She added the Conservatives’ losses in Wokingham Borough were part of a national swing against the party. She told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I think it’s national. That’s not to belittle the vote—everybody votes for who they want, and they get what they vote for.

“But if you look at some of the other councils around the place there were some major changes: Windsor and Maidenhead; Bracknell. I think there is a national issue which seems to be appearing in some of these councils, and we probably did better than that national trend.”

The wards where the Liberal Democrats gained new seats were in Barkham, Shinfield South and Wokingham Without. Labour’s new seats are in Norreys and Shinfield North.

Marie-Louise Weighill, Labour’s new candidate in Norreys, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “We’re just delighted. I’m just really glad to have a chance to work for everyone in Norreys. It’s a place that’s really close to my heart—I grew up here, I came back here. So let’s get on with it.”