England & Wales Press Releases

State of the Locals as polls close

Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive, Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) said:

“Over the coming hours and days, it will be tempting to talk about how these local election results influence the national election. However, we must remember that local elections are not a warm-up act for general elections – they are crucial chapters in our democracy. These results will determine the leaders who will serve our communities and make the decisions that directly impact our lives.

“We know that there is declining trust in politicians. Our pre-election polling shows that only 25% of people trust national politicians to act in the best interests of people in their area. It is local politicians that the public trusts nearly twice as much. Against this backdrop, one thing we can and must be able to rely on is the integrity of our elections. It is crucial that we appreciate and support the hardworking staff who ensure the smooth running of our democratic process. There would be no polling day without them.

“So, as the polls close in these local elections, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of the electoral staff up and down the country who made today happen. Free and fair elections for all levels of government are the foundations on which democratic society rests.

Organising polling days is a hugely complex and labour-intensive job, and without the dedication of electoral staff – often under increasingly difficult circumstances – democracy could not function properly. But our gratitude is not enough, and we must do everything we can to make sure that electoral staff are resourced, supported and respected so that they can continue to deliver this essential service.”

Ends

2024 local elections support and resources for press

LGIU Local elections 2024: Live updates Stay tuned with LGIU as we dive into the heart of the 2024 local elections! We’re your go-to source for real-time updates, insightful analysis, and in-depth commentary.

Ones to watch Our guide to the 2024 local elections across England with what’s at stake and up for grabs on 2 May.

State of the Locals Our annual polling carried out by Ipsos on UK attitudes to local elections, the work of councillors and the role of local government in England. This year, more than half of respondents consider local councils to have the most impact on the quality of life in local areas (57%), far above the Westminster Parliament (14%).

Who runs the councils in No Overall Control? Who runs councils in No Overall Control across England and what does this mean in practice?

The Views of Administrators The LGIU surveyed 171 electoral administrators who helped to deliver the May 2023 local elections, and ran detailed interviews with 11 more, ensuring diversity across regions and seniority. Together, these data comprise an original and systematic effort to collect the perspectives of electoral administrators and highlight the challenges they face in carrying out their vital democratic work.

The impact of Voter ID: FAQs Voter ID was required in the May 2023 local elections for the first time and everyone has questions about it. Dr Greg Stride answers some of the big ones for us.

Local elections support and resources Your one-stop shop for the most pertinent local elections resources for you and your teams.

2024 State of Local Government Finance This report, the 11th annual state of local government finance survey in England, tells a story that is at once both familiar and distinctive. It is a familiar story of councils struggling to deliver essential services with inadequate funding, pulling all of the levers available to them to make ends meet, increasing numbers of councils falling into effective bankruptcy, and residents paying more to get less. But this year, there is a difference. The balance has tipped and this report, for the first time, demonstrates how widespread the desperate funding situation for councils is, with more than half of respondents warning that they now face bankruptcy in the next five years if nothing changes. The results of the first annual finance survey in Scotland was published in December 2023, the full report can also be found here.

Local government facts & figures All of the details on how a council really works, a breakdown of local government structures, stats and workings across England.

LGIU Briefings – free access for press You have complimentary access to our briefings service. Our team of expert associates produce over 250 local government briefings each year and have an archive of 2000+ briefings. Our Daily News provides a professional summary of the top local government news making the headlines and is emailed first thing each morning ensuring that you are always up to date with latest developments. To sign up to receive our updates, make sure you set up an account as a member. For any queries, please contact [email protected].

About LGIU

The LGIU – Local Government Information Unit – is a not-for-profit, non-partisan membership organisation. We are for local government and anyone with an interest in local democracy and finding local solutions to the challenges that we all face. Our resources, innovative research and connections are relied on by colleagues across the globe.