The final Leeds municipal elections were held on 5 May 1972, with a third of the councillors up for re-election. The wide-reaching reforms set out in the Local Government Act 1972 had scheduled the council's abolition to coincide with its replacement by the enlarged successor Leeds metropolitan district on 1 April 1974. Prior to the election, a by-election had resulted in Labour gaining the seat in Castleton from the Liberals.[1]

Labour repeated all of the gains of the previous year's gains (in the 1971 Leeds City Council election), with the exceptions of the Castleton and Osmondthorpe seats - both of which they already held; the latter being their solitary gain in the 1969 election. Much like Labour's performance in the 1969 election, the Conservatives halted their decline - at least in vote share (like Labour, their total vote actually fell a further 5,000, setting a new party low). Having won full representation in West Hunslet, the Liberals defended the seat and retained their total of four. Turnout fell to 34.4%, from 37.8% the year before.[1]

The reaction from the Labour leader, Albert King, was one of contentment: "This is a satisfactory evening for us, and the gains were more or less in line with what I expected". The Conservatives meanwhile were reported to be relieved, with their leader Frank Marshall commenting that the results were better than expected a couple of months ago, and pointing to a significantly reduced Labour vote in Burley from the year before as a reason for optimism for the future.[1]

The sixteen gains for Labour were enough to re-take control of the council from the Conservatives for its last years of existence.[1]

Election result

Leeds Local Election Result 1972
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Labour 21 15 0 +15 70.0 52.6 63,893 -4.3%
  Conservative 8 0 15 -15 26.7 36.0 43,775 -0.4%
  Liberal 1 0 0 0 3.3 8.9 10,834 +2.9%
  Independent 0 0 0 0 0.0 1.6 1,902 +1.6%
  Communist 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.9 1,057 +0.2%

The result had the following consequences for the total number of seats on the Council after the elections:

Party Previous council New council
Cllr Ald Cllr Ald
Labour 41 14 56 14
Conservatives 45 16 30 16
Liberals 4 0 4 0
Total 90 30 90 30
120 120
Working majority   0   -2   22    -2 
 -2   20 

Ward results

Armley[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour J. Dixon 2,478 47.4 -8.8
Conservative C. Mathers 1,369 26.2 -4.8
Liberal R. Meadowcroft 1,325 25.3 +13.2
Communist P. Wilton 60 1.1 +0.4
Majority 1,109 21.2 -4.0
Turnout 5,232
Labour gain from Conservative Swing -2.0
Beeston[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour A. Barnard 2,643 52.3 -4.3
Conservative A. Dunn 2,111 41.8 +2.9
Liberal L. Ellis 296 5.9 +1.4
Majority 532 10.5 -7.3
Turnout 5,050
Labour gain from Conservative Swing -3.6
Bramley[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour E. Millett 2,834 65.8 -1.3
Conservative M. Robinson 1,476 34.2 +1.3
Majority 1,358 31.6 -2.6
Turnout 4,310
Labour gain from Conservative Swing -1.3
Burley[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour A. Donohoe 1,791 58.4 -3.1
Conservative D. Ramsden 1,175 38.3 +1.5
Communist T. Flynn 102 3.3 +1.5
Majority 616 20.1 -4.6
Turnout 3,068
Labour gain from Conservative Swing -2.3
Burmantofts[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour A. Blower 3,005 72.6 -1.3
Conservative C. Thomas 1,042 25.2 +0.7
Communist F. Stockdale 93 2.2 +0.6
Majority 1,963 47.4 -2.0
Turnout 4,140
Labour gain from Conservative Swing -1.0
Castleton[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour K. Dockwray 2,124 53.1 +4.2
Liberal B. Nelson 1,569 39.2 -6.3
Conservative M. Mathews 262 6.6 +2.1
Communist K. Robinson 44 1.1 +0.0
Majority 555 13.9 +10.5
Turnout 3,999
Labour hold Swing +5.2
Chapel Allerton[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative J. Hunt 2,392 74.7 +3.5
Labour L. Fineberg 638 19.9 +0.6
Liberal O. Braham 174 5.4 -4.2
Majority 1,754 54.8 +2.9
Turnout 3,204
Conservative hold Swing +1.4
City[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Doreen Jenner 2,055 82.6 -3.2
Conservative W. Annan 338 13.6 -0.6
Liberal S. Waldenburg 96 3.9 +3.9
Majority 1,717 69.0 -2.6
Turnout 2,489
Labour hold Swing -1.3
Cookridge[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative C. Jenkins 2,831 55.0 +5.3
Labour L. Morrison 1,706 33.1 -2.7
Liberal V. Finkle 610 11.9 -2.6
Majority 1,125 21.9 +8.0
Turnout 5,147
Conservative hold Swing +4.0
East Hunslet[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour G. Bowsley 2,267 65.8 -18.3
Liberal T. Clarkson 979 28.4 +22.0
Conservative B. Cresswell 199 5.8 -3.7
Majority 1,288 37.4 -37.2
Turnout 3,445
Labour hold Swing -20.1
Gipton[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Arthur Vollans 2,781 64.1 -0.3
Conservative M. Suttenstall 1,271 29.3 -3.1
Liberal K. Pedder 188 4.3 +2.4
Communist J. Bellamy 97 2.2 +0.9
Majority 1,510 34.8 +2.8
Turnout 4,337
Labour gain from Conservative Swing +1.4
Halton[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Martin Dodgson 2,108 53.4 -12.4
Labour K. Jeffrey 1,244 31.5 -2.6
Liberal S. Roome 594 15.1 +15.1
Majority 864 21.9 -9.8
Turnout 3,946
Conservative hold Swing -4.9
Harehills[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour C. Green 1,922 51.7 +3.7
Conservative J. Moran 1,606 43.2 -4.2
Liberal R. Farrar 192 5.2 +0.5
Majority 316 8.5 +7.9
Turnout 3,720
Labour gain from Conservative Swing +3.9
Headingley[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative E. Clark 2,219 51.5 -7.9
Labour T. Donohoe 1,695 39.3 -1.3
Liberal J. Coates 394 9.1 +9.1
Majority 524 12.2 -6.5
Turnout 4,308
Conservative hold Swing -3.3
Holbeck[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Bernard Atha 2,253 78.7 -4.4
Liberal R. Whitelock 323 11.3 +5.9
Conservative L. Dobkin 287 10.0 -1.5
Majority 1,930 67.4 -4.1
Turnout 2,863
Conservative hold Swing -5.1
Kirkstall[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Elizabeth Nash 3,474 58.3 -1.9
Conservative J. Horrocks 2,406 40.4 +1.9
Communist J. Sidebottom 77 1.3 +0.0
Majority 1,068 17.9 -3.8
Turnout 5,957
Labour gain from Conservative Swing -1.9
Middleton[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour J. Kitchen 2,802 83.7 -0.2
Conservative P. Johnson 426 12.7 +3.9
Communist D. Priscott 121 3.6 +0.7
Majority 2,376 71.0 -4.1
Turnout 3,349
Labour hold Swing -2.0
Moortown[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative A. Redmond 2,361 59.3 +7.1
Labour M. Cliff 1,272 31.9 -5.9
Liberal L. Waldenburg 350 8.8 -1.2
Majority 1,089 27.3 +13.0
Turnout 3,983
Conservative hold Swing +6.5
Osmondthorpe[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour W. Prichard 3,122 76.2 +0.9
Conservative Doreen Wood 921 22.5 -2.2
Communist D. Cook 54 1.3 +1.3
Majority 2,201 53.7 +3.1
Turnout 4,097
Labour hold Swing +1.5
Richmond Hill[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Tom Cooke 2,587 73.7 -4.4
Conservative G. Dimmock 873 24.9 +4.6
Communist D. Fawcett 48 1.4 -0.2
Majority 1,714 48.9 -8.9
Turnout 3,508
Labour gain from Conservative Swing -4.5
Roundhay[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative A. Johnson 2,920 79.0 +0.7
Labour L. Milburn 588 15.9 -5.8
Liberal D. Freethby 189 5.1 +5.1
Majority 2,332 63.1 +6.5
Turnout 3,697
Conservative hold Swing +3.2
Scott Hall[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour A. Baum 1,837 61.1 -6.8
Conservative V. Darton 915 30.4 +0.1
Liberal D. Thorpe 200 6.6 +6.6
Communist M. Temple 56 1.9 +0.0
Majority 922 30.7 -6.9
Turnout 3,008
Labour gain from Conservative Swing -3.4
Seacroft[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour F. Stringer 4,564 78.8 +0.2
Conservative D. Ball 1,152 19.9 -0.5
Communist A. Dale 75 1.3 +0.3
Majority 3,412 58.9 +0.7
Turnout 5,791
Labour gain from Conservative Swing +0.3
Stanningley[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour A. Miller 2,874 65.9 -3.1
Conservative I. Benton 1,429 32.8 +3.4
Communist R. Quarmby 55 1.3 -0.3
Majority 1,445 33.2 -6.5
Turnout 4,358
Labour gain from Conservative Swing -3.2
Talbot[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ronnie Feldman 2,478 65.9 -4.6
Labour L. Naylor 873 23.2 -0.4
Liberal M. Phillips 410 10.9 +5.0
Majority 1,605 42.7 -4.2
Turnout 3,761
Conservative hold Swing -2.1
Weetwood[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative S. Rostron 2,905 55.2 -26.2
Independent E. Firth 1,902 36.1 +36.1
Labour S. Akbar 457 8.7 -9.9
Majority 1,003 19.1 -43.7
Turnout 5,264
Conservative hold Swing -31.1
West Hunslet[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Dennis Pedder 2,347 60.9 +8.8
Labour J. Wright 1,144 29.7 -5.6
Conservative J. Dawson 363 9.4 -3.2
Majority 1,203 31.2 +14.4
Turnout 3,854
Liberal hold Swing +7.2
Whinmoor[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour F. Davis 2,563 71.0 -4.8
Conservative P. White 983 27.2 +4.1
Communist H. Besser 62 1.7 +0.6
Majority 1,580 43.8 -8.9
Turnout 3,608
Labour gain from Conservative Swing -4.4
Woodhouse[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour J. Roche 1,521 47.0 -10.8
Conservative P. Fingret 1,005 31.0 -7.9
Liberal M. Baker 598 18.5 +18.5
Communist L. Morris 113 3.5 +0.2
Majority 516 15.9 -2.9
Turnout 3,237
Labour gain from Conservative Swing -1.4
Wortley[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour F. Selby 2,779 58.7 +0.2
Conservative F. Stubley 1,952 41.3 +7.0
Majority 827 17.5 -6.8
Turnout 4,731
Labour gain from Conservative Swing -3.4

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah "Labour sweeps in with 20 majority in Leeds". The Yorkshire Post. 6 May 1972. Scan here