After the slow all nighter of the General Election count at Buile Hill High, noon today saw the quick fire destruction of any hopes for Labour being ousted as Salford's ruling party. It was basically a two hour slaughter of all opposition, the fall out from the same voters' angst that was determined to keep the Tories out of power nationally. And the same `x' factor that kept Hazel Blears as Salford MP
Normally local elections in Salford bring out virtually no voters at all. In 2008, for instance, Ordsall and Little Hulton drew a turnout of just over 23% each, while Langworthy hit the dizzy heights of almost 25%. Today's count at Fit City Eccles showed that these three wards almost doubled those figures, a by product of the large General Election turnout. And it benefitted the Labour Party no end.
The Lib Dems had hoped to oust the likes of councillor John Warmisham in Langworthy who had a majority of just 132, and had refused to resign for his part in the Children's Services scandal. But he romped home with an increased majority of 677.
Instead it was the Lib Dems themselves whose strongholds were pillaged. In Weaste and Seedley, councillor John Deas increased his vote by nearly 700 but was still squeezed out by Labour's Ronnie Wilson who now has a 261 majority.
"Obviously I am disappointed, but the electorate have spoken and I have to abide by their decision, that's democracy" said John Deas "My personal vote increased from four years ago, but unfortunately the Labour vote increased by more and overtook mine. I will now spend some time in quiet reflection and decide on next steps."
And there was drama at the Claremont counting table when the result went to a re-count, standing Lib Dem councillor Mary Ferrer losing out by a mere 54 votes to Labour's Sareda Dirir.
In Swinton South, ex Lib Dem councillor Joe O'Neill stood as an Independent. But his personal vote and the official Lib Dem vote was split, allowing Labour's Howard Balkind to slip through the middle and take the seat.
Elsewhere, the Tories were so panicked that they whooped with delight when they managed to hang onto their two councillors in Walkden South (by 211 votes) and Worsley.
Meanwhile Labour comfortably held onto all its seats that were up for re-election, allowing Salford City Council Leader John Merry to claim "a vote of confidence in our policies by the people of this city."
He added: "You might argue it was because of the General Election but I would argue that it is as a result of the policies that we're carrying out in this city. People have been given a chance to judge us and the fact remains that the ordinary people of Salford have now spoken and I hope you'll accept that we've got a mandate for the policies that we carry out.
"People of the wards have come out in their hundreds and thousands to vote for a party that they believe will potentially support them - and I'm sure the Salford Star will hold us to account to make sure that we do…"
You can see all the results of the Salford Local Election 2010 here