The scale of Labour’s victory in this year’s elections for Swindon Borough Council might not be quite as seismic as last year’s. 

But it wasn’t far off – and it leaves the party in full, dominating control of the council chamber, and its committees. 

Last year the Labour group took 16 seats out of 19 contested, and winning power in Swindon for the first time in 20 years. 

That win was more than consolidated this year. There were 20 seats up for grabs, with Labour defending just five of them. 

The party won those five and gained another nine from the Conservatives, who held on to six. 

The Labour group now has 41 councillors in the chamber, with the Conservatives occupying 15 seats and the Liberal Democrats one- that’s a 25-seat majority for Labour. 

The group’s leader and leader of the council for the past year Councillor Jim Robbins said: “We wanted to hold on to the seats we had coming into this election, and pick up some more if we could, so this is a very pleasing set of results.” 

There was some cheer for the Conservatives in what was an otherwise a very good day for Labour. 

The incumbent Mayor of Swindon Councillor Babara Parry held on to her seat in Covingham & Dorcan where Labour had campaigned hard. Cllr Parry held on to her seat by 106 votes, in stark contrast to her victory by 1,475 votes in 2021. 

Labour had also been holding its breath at the prospect of taking Blunsdon & Highworth – a Conservative stronghold, but in the end the sitting member Councillor Vijay Manro was returned with a majority of 208, though that was down by 998 votes from his majority in 2021. 

The Conservatives also won both seats contested in Wroughton & Wichelstowe, holding the seat vacated by the retiring former cabinet member Brian Ford and either holding or gaining the seat vacated by Dave Martyn, who had been elected as a Tory, become an independent, rejoined the Conservative group, but who may have left again just before stepping down earlier this year. 

The group’s leader Councillor Gary Sumner, who won his own seat in Ridgeway said: ”I’m absolutely proud of our result.  

“We anticipated losses but have certainly turned the tide in terms of Labour’s march and this reflects well on hard-fought local campaigns.  

There are reasons for optimism for 2026, and I’m proud of my teams across Swindon.” 

But the day belonged to Labour. The party consolidated its grip on wards like Old Town and Eastcott, and turned Haydon Wick, until very recently a Conservative stronghold into a solid red block, with all three seats now held by labour. 

In Central ward which had returned Conservative councillors in 2021 and 2022 Labour’s Domingos Dias won with a majority of 1279 votes, and the party took a scalp in Shaw. Labour’s Rose Llewellyn won the seat, defeating former Conservative cabinet member Keith Williams. 

The party also took back seats in its heartland wards of Rodbourne Cheney and Penhill & Upper Stratton where it had lost seats in 2021. 

There is no election next year, but the election in 2026 will be significantly different. 

The council has gone over from elections ‘in thirds’ where a third of the seats are contested every year, with a fallow fourth year to ‘all out’ elections. 

All 57 redrawn wards will be contested in 2026, and then there will not be another fill council election until 2030 when all the seats will again be up for grabs.