LGiU Statement – State of the Locals as polls close
Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive, LGiU said:
“As polls close in these local elections, tribute must be paid to the thousands of council employees who made today happen and will be working tirelessly through the night to ensure each and every vote is counted. Their efforts often go unrecognised but they are the unsung heroes of our local democracy.
Local elections are often talked about in terms of turnout. In years like this one, where they don’t coincide with a general election or a European election on the same day, turnout is often as low as just a third of the electorate. However, it is difficult to tell how much election fatigue from last two years will impact the results. Will the fallout of Brexit drive people to the polls? We are hearing that a lot of voters are staying home which could be bad news for the Conservatives.
For the Conservatives anything short of disaster will feel like a reasonable result. They’re predicted to lose hundreds of seats but the consolation could be that the profile of these elections means they shouldn’t lose control of too many councils. Labour will hope to consolidate their hold on the Northern Metropolitan councils and take full control of places like Calderdale and Trafford. Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats should pick up anti Brexit votes and win seats but start from too far back to take over many councils though they may have their eyes on Stockport.
And while there is always a temptation to view local elections as a glorified opinion poll, we shouldn’t forget that local elections are about real issues that impact our homes, care of older people, school places, children’s services, libraries, streets and refuse collection. All the things that matter most in our day to day lives.”