The loss of both Kensington, Chelsea, and Fulham is a devasting blow for the Conservatives in West London.

Effectively ending their parliamentary level presence in inner London, this result presents a real possibility that the Conservative-led council could be under serious threat in 2026.

Joe Powell, elected in Kensington, and Ben Coleman in Chelsea and Fulham, will be given a platform by the new Labour Government to ensure that the Local Labour group of councillors are given the best possible chance of ending Conservative control of the borough.

The first challenge will be establishing whether today’s result is an anti-Conservative Government protest vote or whether it is symptomatic of a changing political trend in Kensington that has been growing in momentum since the Grenfell disaster. The stark North (Labour) and South (Conservative) divide across the borough has been set for many years and observers should be cautious in predicting continued Labour domination at a local level in 2026 quite yet.

The small majority in Chelsea and Fulham suggest there remains a Tory vote in the borough that may be reinvigorated after two years of a Labour Government in Westminster.

It remains to be seen whether either party is unified enough to mount a campaign for 2026 that can pull together the vastly demographically divided population in the borough.

Kensington’s first challenge will be to meet the new housing targets proposed in Labour’s manifesto. This would require a rapid increase in new development in the borough which typically, the Tory council have shied away from with nearing local elections in the borough.

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