Local elections 2017 – the results
Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive of LGiU, said: “This is the worst set of local election results for the Labour Party since at least the 1990’s with the Party losing control in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Northumberland. Victories in Merseyside and Greater Manchester will not disguise the loss of the Mayoralties in Tees Valley, the West of England and the West Midlands. The loss of nearly 200 councillors is a major blow to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. With weeks remaining until the General Election the Party has lost many of the footsoldiers who would be expected to knock on doors to send the electorate the Party’s message.
This was the Conservative’s night. Tory MPs have heralded the victory. However, it will be interesting to note how amenable these Members of Parliament will be when faced with an emboldened county leadership who will be campaigning for sustainable funding on social care, children’s services and more devolved powers.
The near complete wipeout of UKIP is a key theme underpinning many of these results. These seats have not been won by Labour councillors but by Conservatives. Liberal Democrats had a disappointing evening across the country including in areas such as Somerset and Devon. They did however manage to hold on in traditional strongholds such as Eastleigh and Cheltenham.
At the LGiU, we have been covering the local election results live since the polls closed on Thursday night (with support from the County Councils Network and Democracy Club) and while the big story was always going to be about a Conservative victory, we feel it’s a mistake to use these elections purely as a barometer for the General Election. It’s important to remember that local elections are not just, or even primarily, about national politics. Most councils have very different politics from their national leadership. The victory of Labour’s Ros Jones as Mayor of Doncaster show that the national swing is not applicable evenly across the country and proves that strong local characters can stand on their local records.”
Simon Edwards, director of the County Councils Network, said:
“The County Councils Network (CCN) looks forward to working with all members, both new and old, who have been elected today to county seats. The network has evolved considerably as an organisation from the last county election cycle, becoming a key influencer in local and national issues.
Clearly, the results of the local elections will be analysed by commentators with a general election around the corner. But with counties delivering the majority of local services in their areas, today’s result will have a big impact on ordinary people’s lives, whether that is social care services for their loved ones, using public transport to access employment opportunities, having a library on their doorstep, or ensuring their children go to the local school of their choice.
With attention now turning to June, we enter a crucial period for county authorities. Considering the councils that make up CCN represent almost 26million people, it is crucial that whichever party governs the county from next month listens to counties and their communities, whether that be on domestic economic policy, the future of social care funding, business rate retention, and of course, Brexit. CCN, as a strong cross-party organisation, will continue to ensure the county voice is heard.”
Notes to editors
Our live coverage and map of the local elections results with analysis can be found here.
Our local government facts and figures page is available here.
A full breakdown of the local elections results is provided in our member briefing here.
Our awareness raising campaign dedicated to improving local democracy with a call for open and accessible local elections data across the UK. Out for the Count 2017 will be run in partnership between the LGiU and County Councils Network (CCN), working alongside the Democracy Club, to provide live local election results coverage and analysis with insights into what’s happening on the ground and what it means for the country as a whole.
The Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) is a think tank and membership body with over 200 councils and other organisations subscribing to our networks. We work to strengthen local democracy and put citizens in control of their own lives, communities and local services. For more information, visit lgiu.org.
The County Councils Network is a network of 37 County Councils and Unitary authorities that serve county areas. CCN is a cross party organisation whose views carry particular weight for a large proportion of the country outside the big conurbations: its 37 member councils, with over 2,500 Councillors, serve 25 million people or 47% of the population, over 44 thousand square miles or 86% of England. CCN is a member led organisation, and works on an inclusive and all party basis. CCN Council and Executive Committees include Councillors from each of our member authorities.