The 2011 Carlisle City Council election took place on 5 May 2011 to elect members of Carlisle District Council in Cumbria, England. One third of the council was up for election and the council stayed under no overall control.
After the election, the composition of the council was
Before the election Labour were the largest party on the council with 23 seats, compared to 22 Conservatives, 5 Liberal Democrats and 2 independents. However the Conservatives ran the council in alliance with the Liberal Democrats. At the election one councillor stood down, Labour's Mary Styth, who had held Belle Vue ward.
18 seats were contested at the election, with Labour standing in all 18 seats, the Conservatives in 17, the Green Party in 8, Liberal Democrats 7, UK Independence Party 4, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 4, British National Party 2 and the Communist Party in 1 seat. The candidates in Morton ward included Conservative Judith Pattinson, who was attempting to return to the council she had left in 2004, and the former Labour mayor John Metcalfe, who was standing as a Communist.
There were also going to be 6 independent candidates, however the former Conservative councillor for Belah, Alan Toole, withdrew on 5 April. The other independents included Andrew Hill, a campaigner against the redevelopment of the Sands Centre in Carlisle, and husband and wife Jonathan and Julia Devlin. Jonathan Devlin had been Conservative councillor for Lyne since 2007, but stood as an independent after the Conservatives began looking for other candidates to stand for the seat.
A big issue at the election were the cuts being made by the national Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition, with Labour saying the Liberal Democrats in particular would suffer as a result. Other local issues included a redevelopment at Carlisle Lake District Airport and a proposed new housing estate in Crindledyke.
Labour targeted Castle ward, which the Liberal Democrats held, and where Labour had come close at the 2010 election. However the Conservatives hoped to challenge Labour in Belle Vue and Yewdale wards.
Only one seat changed parties, with Labour gaining the only seat the Liberal Democrats had been defending, in Castle ward. This meant that Labour remained the largest party on the council with 24 councillors, but without a majority as the Conservatives remained on 22 seats, the Liberal Democrats had 4 and there were 2 independents.
The Liberal Democrats suffered a substantial drop in the share of the vote, with the party coming fifth in Currock ward and third in Morton, a seat the party had previously held. The Liberal Democrats said they had suffered as a result of entering the coalition government nationally, while the Labour group leader, Reg Watson, saw the results as giving Labour "a good chance" to take control at the 2012 election.
Following the election, Conservative Mike Mitchelson was re-elected as leader of the council by 26 votes to 25. Meanwhile, Joe Hendry became the new leader of the Labour group on the council taking over from Reg Watson, while the 2 independent councillors joined together in an Independent group.
|Party||Seats||Gains||Losses||Net gain/loss||Seats %||Votes %||Votes||+/−|
|Liberal Democrats||Michael Gee||114||11.8||+11.8|
|Liberal Democrats||Colin Farmer||438||33.8||-1.2|
|Labour gain from Liberal Democrats||Swing|
|Liberal Democrats||Terence Jones||71||4.9||-9.8|
|Liberal Democrats||William Wyllie||500||22.2||-12.1|
|Liberal Democrats||David Wood||96||6.1||+6.1|
|Liberal Democrats||Deborah Clode||219||11.8||-23.3|
|Liberal Democrats||James Osler||233||17.6||-3.0|