Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive, Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) said:
“With (nearly) all councils declared, we can look back at a day of steadily escalating drama. The Conservatives had looked to manage expectations with predictions of up to 1000 seats lost. That turned out to be the reality.
There’s been a steady drumbeat throughout the day of Conservative councils lost to No Overall Control but this has been punctuated by some more striking results. Not only did Labour take some of their most ambitious target councils like Swindon and Stoke-on-Trent. But they also had unexpected gains in Medway and Bracknell Forest. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats took control of previously Conservative councils like Dacorum, Stratford-upon-Avon and, most notably, Windsor and Maidenhead.
We should be cautious though about drawing conclusions about what this might mean for national politics. This was not an opinion poll, still less a general election. These were local elections with substantive local outcomes: electing the councillors who will be making tough choices about local services in councils facing unprecedented pressures. Voters’ decisions in this context do not map neatly on to a general election more than a year away.
These were also the first national elections in which voters were required to produce photo ID. It’s too early to tell what impact this may or may not have had and we will doing further research to delve into this. We should note though that the smooth running of elections does not just happen; it’s delivered by thousands of electoral administrators and other council staff around the country. We owe our gratitude to them and to the candidates of every party and none who put themselves forward to serve. They remain the bedrock of our civic life.”
Notes to editors
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