Local elections England: update 25 April 2024

Polls open next Thursday at 7am.

Image: Mr_Twister via istock

State of the Locals – event resource pack

Watch the panel discussion where our local government experts present the findings from LGIU’s exclusive polling and look ahead to the local elections on 2 May.

And explore the other resources connected to this event.

Highlights this week

This week we published State of the Locals. This is the findings from our exclusive annual polling – conducted for us by Ipsos UK – which examines public attitudes to local government and councillors in England in the lead-up to the local elections. Read the polling summary here.

Make the most of your LGIU elections resources

  • Read Ones to Watch, our guide to the most interesting contests this year – the ones where there is all to play for.
  • Book a spot on our free State of the Locals discussion on 23 May. We’ll be exploring our new polling with Ipsos looking at public attitudes to local government and local democracy.
  • Check out our Local Elections 101 – answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
  • Head over to your one-stop shop for elections resources.

Ones to watch - London Assembly

This excerpt is taken from Ones to Watch, LGIU’s guide to the best of the action on 2 May.

Map showing London Assembly by political control

All 25 London Assembly member seats are up for election on 2 May. Fourteen members are elected to represent constituencies: Barnet and Camden; Bexley and Bromley; Brent and Harrow; City and East; Croydon and Sutton; Ealing and Hillingdon; Enfield and Haringey; Greenwich and Lewisham; Havering and Redbridge; Lambeth and Southwark; Merton and Wandsworth; North East; South West, and; West Central. Eleven members are elected to represent the whole of London.

In terms of the constituency elections, seats have always been won by Conservative or Labour candidates. In the current political climate, it is unlikely that any constituency seats will switch from Labour to Conservative. The main one to watch in this election is West Central, covering the City of Westminster, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. This has consistently delivered a Conservative assembly member but City of Westminster switched to Labour control in the last local council election, so the constituency may swing to Labour for the first time in a GLA election. Croydon and Sutton is also one to watch as it might switch from Conservative to Labour at this time.

The only Liberal Democrat and Green Party seats have been won in Londonwide positions. In the 2021 GLA election, the Greens won three seats and the Liberal Democrats won two seats. Those minority parties may benefit from the national political climate, which will probably lead to Conservative losses in Londonwide seats. Or they may lose those seats if the electorate swings to Labour. London is a capital with a high population churn and an ever-changing electorate so is always difficult to predict in local and regional elections.

Check out the council elections by region that are worth keeping an eye on:

East Midlands | East of England | North East | North West | South East | South West | West Midlands | Yorkshire and Humber

In the news

A summary of this week’s election news. All stories are curated from the LGIU’s member-only Daily News.

If you don’t receive Daily News every morning, then update your mailing preferences in your website account – it’s an important part of your LGIU membership.

Image: Thinglass via istock

Manchester Conservative candidate looks beyond city centre

22/04/24 The Manchester Evening News speaks to Laura Evans, the Conservative candidate challenging Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham in the upcoming elections. Ms Evans argues that Mr Burnham “has levelled up city centre Manchester, but he hasn’t levelled up the rest”, telling the paper she aims to “entice business here to “increase the supply and share we can spend on people in Greater Manchester and deliver better results”. Ms Evans has also pledged to review the Places for Everyone development blueprint approved by nine local authorities last year and end the “half-baked Low Traffic Neighbourhoods scheme” to “end this war on motorists”.
Manchester Evening News

Liberal Democrat candidate suspended over Galloway endorsement

21/04/24 The Liberal Democrats have suspended local election candidate Rabina Asghar, who is standing for election to Rochdale Council, after she appeared in a video where she was endorsed by Workers Party MP George Galloway. Mr Galloway said in the video that while people “might be surprised” to see him supporting a Liberal Democrat candidate, he is “determined to get Labour out of Spotland, to get Labour out of the town hall where they have abused their power for so very long”.
Daily Mail   Manchester Evening News   The Sun

Sadiq Khan launches manifesto promising free school meals

20/04/24 London mayor Sadiq Khan has published his manifesto as he seeks a third term in office in the upcoming elections – with the manifesto’s centrepiece a commitment to continue to offer free school lunches to older primary school children for four more years to “give the next generation a chance”. Free school meals, he said, “have proved a lifeline during the worst decline in living standards on record”, saving families money and helping children realise their potential. Mr Khan has also set out plans to boost funding for youth clubs, mentoring, and youth mental health support, to offer more youth services and work experience during school holidays, to deliver 40,000 new councils houses over his term, and to deliver 1,300 new police officers alongside a future Labour Government.
BBC News  | City A.M. |  London Evening Standard

Lack of party branding for mayoral re-election bid 'deliberate'

19/04/24 West Midlands mayor Andy Street has said his decision to exclude Conservative Party branding from his campaign material is “utterly deliberate”, saying the mayoralty “is a different type of political role”. Voters, he said, are “getting used to this, because historically, it’s all been Westminster. People are sick and tired of that.” Mr Street said while he is still a “proud Conservative”, that is “totally different to ‘Do I agree with this Conservative government in everything it’s doing?'”. While Mr Street has set out plans to boost social housebuilding in the region and to create more than 400,000 jobs and training opportunities, recent polling has put him behind Labour candidate Richard Parker.
The Guardian

Where are the key local election targets?

19/04/24The BBC looks at the state of play as the local elections near, identifying at-risk Conservative councils like AdurBasildonGloucester, and North East Lincolnshire, and Labour targets like RedditchMilton KeynesHartlepool and Harlow, and looking at the possible impact of the Israel-Gaza conflict, which has already seen dozens of Labour councillors resign from the party to sit as independents. While Reform UK has seen a rise in support in national polls in recent months, the piece notes: “they don’t have much of a record in local government and have only around 320 candidates at these elections so it’s going to be hard for them to make a significant national breakthrough”.
BBC News