England & Wales Press Releases

State of the Locals on Friday morning

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

“The results have begun to come in overnight and already some big movement has happened. Against the backdrop of a steady Conservative decline since 2019, the results so far indicate the trend will not be bucked this year. 

Initial results were looking good for Labour and they will be pleased with early wins in Hartlepool, Rushmoor (where the party has won a majority for the first time ever), Thurrock and Redditch. Offsetting that is a big upset in Oldham where the party has lost majority control of the council. This is the first indication that the party’s position on Gaza may cost it votes in this election and we will be watching how this plays out in other areas. It’s a reminder of how global and local politics intertwine and that local elections are not a straight dress rehearsal for the general election.

The narrative developing so far is one of large Conservative losses, although they have managed to hold on in some cases where they had small majorities, such as the key test of Harlow in the East of England. However, this does not necessarily translate directly to any other major party winning their seats, and as always the local picture is important for understanding any specific result. 

We know however that local elections are a long haul and the picture may change in the coming hours and days. And while it will be tempting to talk about how these local election results influence the national election, 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.”

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.