LGIU and Vuelio 2022 Elections Bulletin – 5 May

Polling day is here at last…

Photo by Neora Aylon on Unsplash

This week's highlights

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Polling day is here at last! With 144 councils and 4, 411 seats up for grabs in England. Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson has been into central London to cast his vote, alongside his dog. Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and his wife have also been out to cast their votes in north London. Meanwhile experts say there are ‘two elections’ at play, predicting big urban areas could swing to Labour due to the party gate scandal and the cost of living crisis, whereas Conservatives are more likely to hold on in towns, particularly in the North and the Midlands.

Around 40% of the council seats being contested are in London which will be a key test for Labour’s support under Sir Keir Starmer, alongside predictions that the Conservatives could lose key councils including Wandsworth, Westminster, Barnet and Southampton, others predict the Tories could lose 550 seats ‘in worst local election performance in a generation’.

Polls have opened in the Welsh local elections with 1,160 seats up for grabs across the country’s 22 councils. This is the first election whereby 16- and 17-year-olds can vote and polling stations will close at 22:00 BST. However, it is estimated that over 106,000 people do not have a vote this year because their local wards are uncontested which happens when the number of people who have applied to be councillors, equals the number of seats available.

It has been predicted that in England and Wales, the Conservatives will control 39 councils 4 less than their current number, and Labour will control 85 councils up by 16 on their current number. Liberal Democrats are predicted to gain 3 more councils whilst Plaid Cymru remain at 1.

As Scottish voters head to the polls, a recent survey suggests that SNP will win most seats. It also predicts that Labour Party will come in second, pushing the Scottish Conservatives into third place. The Savanta ComRes poll, which interviewed 1,010 Scottish adults between April 26 and May 3, found that issues such as the party gate scandal and the rising cost of living have turned Conservative Scottish voters away from the party. Another poll out this week suggests that the SNP has also been impacted by the cost-of-living crisis and only 21% of respondents believing that Nicola Sturgeon is doing ‘very well’ or ‘quite well’ as SNP leader. Rising prices and energy costs are thought to be shifting focus away from Scottish independence, a key priority for the SNP.

Meanwhile, speaking to BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland this week, the leader of Scottish Labour Anas Sarwar has set his aspirations further than second place and hopes that in the future Labour will win again across the country. For this year’s election he doesn’t expect a landslide victory but does hope to see gains across the country.

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In the news

A summary of this week’s elections news across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Subscribe to LGIU’s valuable daily news service here.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

PM set to delay reshuffle until No 10 parties scandal settled

Tory MPs have been speculating that the prime minister will hold a reshuffle shortly after the local elections today as he rebuilds his team before the next general election. However, a government source told The Times, however, that Johnson was unlikely to conduct the reshuffle until June or July because he could face further fines. It is also likely that Johnson wants to delay a reshuffle because he wants to be clear of the parties scandal before a reset. No 10 believes that Johnson will not face a vote of confidence even if the results at the polls are bad for the Tories.

The Times

Local elections 2022: Labour could struggle to lure back red wall voters, survey finds

The Conservatives could lose key councils including Wandsworth, Westminster, Barnet and Southampton in the local elections — but Labour is likely to struggle to make significant gains in the red wall, a survey has found. In London, it said Labour had a good chance of taking Wandsworth — a totemic Tory council — and was likely to come within “striking distance” of taking both Barnet and Westminster. However, it said Hillingdon was likely to remain under Tory control despite advances by Labour. In the south of England , YouGov said Labour was expected to make gains but was unlikely to win many battleground councils outright.

The Times

Scots going to the polls in local elections 

Scots are going to the polls in an election dominated by national issues and the cost-of-living crisis, The Independent reports. Parties north of the border have urged voters to ‘send a message’ to the Governments in Westminster and Holyrood with their votes. This comes as the cost-of-living crisis, prompted by an increase in fuel bills, national insurance contributions and inflation, has been top of the agenda for Scotland’s parties throughout the campaign.

The Independent 

Scottish local elections 2022: Labour tipped for comeback in 

The Telegraph reports that a polling expert has predicted ‘profound change’ is coming for Scottish unionism with Labour on course to overtake the Conservatives for the first time in six elections in today’s council vote. Polls suggest that the bounce for Scottish Conservatives which was seen under the leadership of Baroness Davidson of Lundin Links is wearing off. Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister and SNP leader, has chosen to run a campaign focused on ‘sending Boris Johnson a message’ rather than on local services.

The Telegraph

Poll suggests Labour surge in Wales in 2022's council elections

A poll by Electoral Calculus and Find Out Now suggests that Labour are on course to gain four councils in the local elections. According to the poll, Plaid Cymru could lose 42 seats while Labour may regain Bridgend and Merthyr Tydfill which are two councils they lost 5 years ago. The only council held outright by the Conservatives is Monmouthshire and the poll suggests that this will remain the case. They currently have control of 14 councillors in Vale of Glamorgan which is one more Labour.

Wales Online

Wales local council elections: Final push for votes

Labour leader Mark Drakeford is hoping to build on its strong performance at last year’s election when it won half of the seats in Cardiff Bay. The conservatives won its highest number of Senedd seats last year but these elections have come at a difficult time for the party as Boris Johnson still remains under pressure over party gate and the cost of living crisis. Despite this, Glyn Davies said they will be fighting for votes “right up until the close of polls.”

Plaid Cymru had a disappointing set of results last May finishing third but since then, it has reached a co-operation deal with Labour which has seen some of its policies through including free school meals, and will be hoping to build on this. The Liberal Democrats lost ground last year but found some delight in holding onto their single seat in the Senedd last year. Party leader Jane Dodds has expressed how hard their candidates have been working up and down the country and said people are “fed up” with being taken for granted or ignored for decades by Labour and Conservatives.

BBC News

Papers look to the local election battlegrounds

A number of papers look forward to the local elections, with the Independent identifying eight key battlegrounds – Derby City Council, Wandsworth Council, Bury Council, Cumberland Council, Sunderland City Council, Worcester City Council, Glasgow City Council, and Worthing BC – while the i also highlights Barnet Council, Southampton City Council, Somerset Council and Burnley Council. At the Telegraph, Philip Johnston argues that Prime Minister Boris Johnson must hope that “the Conservatives have so talked down their chances and so inflated their likely losses that any minor success can be grabbed like a passing piece of timber after a shipwreck”. Elsewhere, Vince Cable writes in the Independent that the “temptation for many on Thursday will be to use the occasion to blow a raspberry at national government, and Boris Johnson in particular” – something that is “bad news for well over 5,000 local councillors in 200 councils whose jobs are on the line, and who are inviting us to pass judgement on their performance in delivering the dwindling number of local services which national government allows them to perform.” You can read LGIU’s full ones to watch list here.

I   The Daily Telegraph   The Independent

Councillors need more protection, says LGA

Local government bodies in England and Scotland have said more must be done to protect councillors from abuse. LGA chair James Jamieson warned that “an increasing number … are being subjected to abuse, threats and intimidation both online and in-person, undermining the principles of free speech, democratic engagement and debate”. The LGA is calling for evidence of abuse across the country “to further understand the experience of councillors and to ensure robust measures can be taken to tackle this growing issue”. Oldham Council leader Arooj Shah, who had her car firebombed last year and is facing an ongoing campaign against her, said: “Of course I welcome challenge on my politics – that goes with the job. But nobody should endure hatred and personal abuse in their work”. Wolverhampton councillor Beverley Momenabadi says she became particularly wary of her safety after an incident when she was followed by a man while campaigning who indecently exposed himself to her. “People are obviously doing this stuff online and seeing no consequences, and I do think some of that transfers into real life. It does make me wonder how other young women must feel about wanting to take up a political position”. For more on personal safety for councillors, see LGIU’s briefing here

The Guardian   The Independent UK

Survey suggests election losses for Tories

A survey by Electoral Calculus and Find Out Now predicts that the Conservatives are on track to lose nearly 550 seats in the local elections. The poll of 1,749 adults in the 201 councils going to the polls on Thursday forecasts that Labour will hold 3,500 council seats – a gain of more than 800 – whilst the Tories will retain just under 980, a fall of 548. It indicates that the The Tories could lose control of flagship councils Wandsworth and Westminster, as well as Barnet, Southampton, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Thurrock. Labour, however, could gain 16 councils in a 6% swing from the Conservatives.

The Daily Telegraph

Lib Dems and Labour deny local election 'pact' claims

Sir Keir Starmer has denied that Labour has a secret electoral pact with the Liberal Democrats. Conservative chair Oliver Dowden has written to Sir Keir asking him to explain why Labour is standing fewer candidates in parts of southern England than it did in 2018. He claims the move is “far too substantial to be a mere coincidence”, as the Lib Dems are “returning the favour” in the North. Lib Dems leader Sir Ed Davey also denied the accusation, saying: “There isn’t a pact, there is not going to be a pact. “In fact if you look at what we are doing in these local elections, we are fighting Labour in many areas, in Hull, in Sunderland, in Sheffield, in Haringey, in Southwark, I could go on.”

Sky News   Daily Telegraph   Daily Mail   The Independent UK

Cllrs taught how to protect themselves

The Coventry Telegraph reports on the courses being offered by the LGIU to councillors who want to know how to defend themselves in the lead up to local elections. Ian Kirke, a former Thames Valley Police officer, has been coaching candidates from all parties in self-defence ahead of next week’s polls in Coventry. It follows concerns that politicians face a rising tide of threats, abuse and even violence while canvassing on the doorstep. The LGIU has already trained dozens of candidates across the UK but is also looking to expand its service for future elections. The LGIU’s guide on personal safety for councillors can be read here.

Coventry Telegraph

Poll gives Labour 13-point lead in voting areas

A new Survation poll shows Labour with a 13-point lead over the Conservatives in parts of England choosing councillors next Thursday. The 46.9% to 33.7% margin is bigger than the 41% to 32% recorded the last time the seats were contested. Survation interviewed 2,587 British adults online between April 22 and 26. Results have been weighted to represent the wider population.

Daily Mail

Free e-scooter rides to encourage voting

E-scooter provider Lime is offering people in London, Milton Keynes and Salford two free rides as part of the company’s push to encourage voting in the local elections. A promotional code is available for journeys to and from polling stations. It is part of ‘Lime to the Polls’ programme which aims to remove transport barriers on election days around the world.

City A.M.

Party leaders make final pitches to voters

With the polls opening for the local elections today, the leaders of England’s political parties have made their final pitches to voters. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote in the Express that he recognises that people are “feeling the pinch as the cost of living rises”, and says the Government is “focused on growing the economy to address the cost of living”. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused the Government of “doing nothing” to help with rising energy and food costs, and of exacerbating the crisis by “imposing 15 Tory tax rises”, including the National Insurance increase. Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey appealed to voters in the “squeezed middle”, saying the elections could “send a shockwave from communities around the country to the heart of the Conservative Party”. You can find LGIU’s one-stop shop for support and resources for the local elections here.

BBC News

Conservative candidates stress local links

Hundreds of Conservative local election candidates across England are styling themselves as “Local Conservative” candidates in today’s local elections, with elections leaflets urging voters not to “punish local Conservatives for the mistakes made in Westminster”, or stressing that the local elections are “not about party politics, but about those who will work hardest for the community”. The Telegraph also notes that Prime Minister Boris Johnson “has not featured in any of the 113 local election adverts pushed by the Conservative Party’s Facebook account since May 1”. Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said it “speaks volumes that Boris Johnson’s own Conservative candidates are ashamed to be associated with him and trying to pull the wool over voters’ eyes”.

Daily Mirror   I   The Daily Telegraph   The Guardian   The Independent   The Sun

The problem with expectation management

Ian Dunt at the i looks at the phenomenon of expectation management – with Conservative strategists “telling reporters that they’re braced to lose 800 seats across England, Wales and Scotland at the local elections on Thursday”, while Labour “are downplaying their own fortunes, dismissing the perfectly legitimate idea that they could take Tory strongholds in London such as Wandsworth or Westminster”. Expectation management, he argues, is “pernicious”, as it “has the crucial quality of self-criticism – the precise thing which is usually missing from political communication”. Parties engaged in the practice, he says, are not “being frank”. “They’re not speaking honestly”, he says, “They’re not really criticising themselves. They are pushing a carefully constructed narrative, which utilises the tone of honesty and self-criticism to further conceal reality.”

Over 1,500 independents standing for election

The Times looks at England’s independent councillors – whose numbers swelled from 1,560 in 2016 to 2,218 after last year’s local elections. More than 1,500 candidates standing in today’s local elections are not affiliated with a mainstream party, the paper reports. Alison Stammers, an independent standing in Bromley, says voters “are disillusioned with negative politics”, and “don’t want Punch and Judy, they just want to be listened to and for things to improve”.

The Times

Scotland's uncontested seats

The BBC looks at the eight seats out of Scotland’s 355 council wards that are going uncontested due to a lack of sufficient candidates. Three Comhairle nan Eilean Siar wards, two Shetland Islands Council wards, and one ward each in the Highland Council, Moray Council and Inverclyde Council areas have not seen more candidates come forward than there are vacancies. Two Comhairle nan Eilean Siar wards and one Shetland ward have seen fewer candidates put themselves forward than there are vacancies, with by-elections to be triggered when the seats are not filled on election day.

BBC News

The all-male council trying to get women elected

A BBC feature looks at the gender representation problems faced by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. However, the article notes that the Western Isles is not the only place where a lack of female council candidates is an issue. In the 2017 vote to elect new councils across Scotland, only 29% of those elected were women – although that was up from 24% on the election before. In a bid to address historically low levels of female representation, the council held a workshop earlier this year aimed at encouraging more women to stand. Norman Macdonald, the retiring convener, said: “We had 80 people in the same place having that conversation. But the reality for us is that we now only have eight of that cohort who’ve put themselves forward”. Kezia Dugdale, director of the John Smith Centre at Glasgow University, comments: “I think we should be asking much bolder questions about the system. Should we be having quotas for female candidates? Should there be legal requirements on councils and on political parties to increase the number of women that are standing?”

BBC News

Young people make voice heard ahead of elections

A group of Scottish young people and organisations have signed an open letter to council election candidates, calling for youth voices and concerns to be heard. The charity Magic Breakfast has released the letter, which includes priorities such as  hunger, education, gender equality, wellbeing, transport and youth services. Signatories include members of the Scottish Youth Parliament, YouthLink Scotland, Scouts Scotland, Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity and members of Young Humanists Scotland.

The Scotsman

Councils urged to engage with young voters

The Courier looks at the local election from the viewpoint of younger voters, speaking to Blairgowrie 17-year-old Maks Inkster, a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament. Mr Inkster says there is a risk of a “growing disconnect” between local authorities and their younger residents, saying there “needs to be a way where councils can gauge the views of all young people in order to make it better for everyone in an equal manner”. Failing to engage with young people, or to support community groups and activities, he warns, can also lead to anti-social behaviour.

The Courier

Liberal Democrats focus on local decision-making

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has said his party is the only one “that wants to see more powers handed to local government to tackle the problems that communities face every day”, with communities having long been “held back by a politics dominated by the threat of another independence referendum and an SNP government that refuses to get to grips with what matters right now”. The party, he says, is “not just defined by tax policy, or whether we believe in the Union”, but is “motivated by a deep-held belief in the power of liberalism to help people reach their full potential and a burning belief in the importance of local decision-making”.

The Courier   Edinburgh Evening News   The Press and Journal

Labour 'aspire for first', says Sarwar

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has spoken to the BBC ahead of the local elections – telling Good Morning Scotland that while an “overnight landslide” to boost the party into first place is unlikely: “Ultimately I don’t aspire for second place. Ultimately I aspire for first.” “I want to see us make gains across the country”, he said, “I want us to gain in terms of share of the vote and councillors.” On his opposition to Labour councillors entering coalition arrangements with other parties, criticised as “political immaturity” by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in an interview with the Daily Record, Mr Sarwar suggested the “extremes” of the SNP and the Scottish Conservatives are “both are bad for the country”, adding: “Instead, let’s build a coalition of support… where minority administrations are working well.”

BBC News   The Daily Record   The Scotsman

Poll suggests strong election performance for SNP

A Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times suggests a strong performance for the SNP in the local elections. The survey puts the party on 42%, excluding undecided voters. This is up from the 32% the SNP recorded at the last council elections in 2017. Scottish Labour polled 24%, with the Scottish Conservatives on 21%, the Scottish Liberal Democrats on 7%, and others on 5%.

The Sunday Times   The Daily Record

Survey shows fuel poverty 'top' concern in Edinburgh

Colin Fox, the Scottish Socialist Party candidate for Edinburgh’s Liberton/Gilmerton ward, has claimed that fuel poverty is one of the major concerns for voters. He said: “As part of our campaign we have carried out extensive door-to-door canvassing in South Edinburgh over the past four weeks on the issue of fuel poverty. We have conducted hundreds of face-to-face interviews with people and noted their anxieties about the cost of gas and electricity. The cost-of-living crisis is uppermost in people’s minds and energy prices in particular are nearest to the top.”

Edinburgh Evening News

Poll finds growing gap between Labour and Conservatives

A Savanta Comres survey of Holyrood voting intentions for the Scotsman has found that 46% of voters would back the SNP in their constituency, with 25% supporting Scottish Labour and 18% backing the Scottish Conservatives. The 7% gap between Labour and the Conservatives is the largest since late 2015, and the Herald notes that if “the results are mirrored in Thursday’s council election – which is difficult to predict because of the STV voting system – it would be a major blow” to Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross. Chris Hopkins from Savanta Comres says Labour’s lead is “certainly eye-catching, but as with almost everything related to Labour at the moment, it feels more like a lead more to do with the fortunes of the Conservatives than anything Labour are doing especially well.”

Herald Scotland

Why these elections really matter...

These local elections are the most important elections of all: the ones that make a real difference to our communities, to the places we live and work, to the public services that we all rely on.

The local elections are, of course, about local issues. However, national trends have an effect on why people vote the way they do and local nuance can easily be missed.

Image: istock
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The last time most of these councils were up for election in 2018, the pandemic had not happened and war did not dominate the news. The tragic events of Grenfell were still casting a shadow over political life. Nearly 5 years on, a line is yet to be drawn under the issues of fire safety and cladding remediation, although these issues are unlikely to be hot topics in local election discussions. However, lack and cost of housing and energy prices are key concerns for many voters and councils, whether it’s clashes over greenfield development, renewable energy, rents or regulation of HMOs.

For some voters, active travel and clean air will be high on the agenda. Some councils have ambitious targets to cut private car use and implement low emission zones, while others are reluctant to introduce measures even when nudged by central governments and indeed are now removing cycle lanes. Across England, Scotland and Wales, the pandemic proved a turning point for active travel campaigners, as people enjoyed cleaner air in lockdown and were confined to their local areas. Local debates can be hard for councillors to navigate, faced with the twin challenges of improving life for their constituents while representing the views of those constituents.

Many councils are continuing to face difficult decisions about funding especially when seen in the context of the current cost of living crisis. Raising council tax, increasing fees and charges, identifying services where expenditure can be reduced: these are things that the average council is grappling with. The stark position that councils find themselves in, however, is not always well understood by voters. Some voters see potholes, weeds and untidy parks and assume mismanagement is to blame, not cuts to local government funding. Not getting the basics right can result in political upheaval for individual councillors at election time: uncollected bins are immediately obvious, protecting vulnerable adults from service cuts is not.

Council tax rises, on the other hand, are extremely visible to voters. With over two thirds of English councils expecting to raise council tax, this will be the subject of many political pronouncements in the coming weeks. Most local authorities in Scotland are also raising council tax. From April 2023, Welsh local authorities will not only be able to raise council tax – they will also be able to levy significant premiums on second homes.

In Scotland, national attitudes towards local government will form a part of many local campaigns most especially in authorities currently controlled by the SNP. The independence debate remains topical and unresolved. As English councils continue to evolve, there are few signs of any serious movement towards local devolution in Scotland indeed the potential formation of a National Care Service highlights a centralisation approach taken by SNP Ministers as with Police and Fire services.

A lack of diversity is a key challenge for local authorities. Across England, Scotland and Wales, most councillors are men. Despite efforts to combat this in recent years, after this year’s local elections, most councillors will still be men. England (where 36% of councillors are women) is slightly ahead of Scotland (29%) and Wales (28%).

Covid, has not gone away and post pandemic recovery is also high on the agenda. Turnout at the 2021 local elections in England was comparable to previous years (despite nearly a third of voters in London expressing concerns about whether voting in person was safe).

For further analysis check out LGIU’s One to Watch guide to the 2022 local elections.

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Local Elections in England

Ones to watch in Yorkshire and Humber.

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Keep an eye on Sheffield – a Labour council until last year. The Lib Dems and Greens made gains here last year. Labour will also be defending their mayoralty in South Yorkshire, where Dan Jarvis has been mayor since the first election to the combined authority in 2018.

Jarvis came close to securing 50% of first preference votes in 2018. He is not standing for re-election this year. And finally… Pontefract in Wakefield was the location of the first secret ballot to election an MP to the House of Commons, at a by-election in August 1872.

For further analysis check out LGIU’s One to Watch guide to the 2022 local elections.

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Northern Ireland Assembly Elections

On the day of the election, Sinn Féin look set for a historic victory, holding the lead in the polls throughout the campaign period. According to the Institute of Irish Studies-University of Liverpool and the Irish News, the Alliance Party and DUP are both currently sitting on 18.2% of the vote. The Ulster Unionist Party meanwhile sat at 12.1% the SDLP on 10.5%, TUV at 5.7% and Green Party on 2.9%, with People Before Profit expected to receive 2.1% of votes. Sinn Féin retains a prediction of this has dipped by 1% from the 2017 result.

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The Alliance campaign, similar to Sinn Féin, has focused primarily on bread-and-butter issues which could explain the apparent growth in support for the centrist party over the last month. Although the DUP have been the only party to directly address the issue of the Northern Ireland protocol, this is not necessarily a misstep. Further polling from the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool found that just 30% of citizens would vote for Irish unity ‘tomorrow’. Sinn Féin Northern Ireland leader Michelle O’Neill has said her priority in this election is ‘to show that real change is possible’.

As expected, there were clashes at the BBC leaders debate this week. Sir Jeffrey Donaldson dominated airtime. He quoted figures on cost of living, stating customers were paying up to 19% more for some goods than in other parts of the UK which received pushback from the other leaders. Further questions were raised about the statistics as it emerged, they were from a report commissioned for a DUP led Stormont department. Doug Beattie accused Donaldson of using the threat of Sinn Féin wanting a border poll as a ‘scare tactic’ to garner support. Meanwhile, Michelle O’Neill and Colum Eastwood targeted their fire solely at the DUP and not each other.

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Everything you need to know about who runs the councils in No Overall Control

Before the local elections today over 64 councils across England, Scotland and Wales are in “No Overall Control”. Ingrid Koehler looks at what this means in practice as part of LGIU’s one-stop shop for local elections support and resources.

Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash
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What does NOC mean in practice?

So what does it mean to be a NOC council? As you might expect, it’s a little different in each council area. Some councils have a minority administration often because one party has half or close to half of the seats and they are the largest party. In other places coalitions are formed where the political flavour is a little more evenly distributed. In some councils, the largest political party is unable to form a minority administration because a coalition of smaller parties has banded together. Across these different possibilities we see a range of governance options. More information here.

How is it calculated?

At the LGIU, we define a council as NOC if no single party holds 50%+1 of the seats.

England’s “first past the post” system for individual wards tends to favour bigger parties so it’s often easier for local party machinery to get out candidates in all wards and depending on the flavour of local politics have one party or another in charge. Most of England’s councils are majority run and some councils are or nearly are a one party state, for example Lewisham in London or Manchester which has over 90 Labour councillors and only a few Liberal Democrats.

Where alternative voting systems are used, such as in Scotland or Northern Ireland, multiple parties often win considerable numbers of seats. In Scotland, by design, it’s very difficult for any single party to have a majority administration – for example only 3 out of 32 do coming into these 2022 elections. The single transferrable vote (STV) system encourages multi party ward representation so to gain an all-out majority means that not only must one party do really well across all wards, other parties must not also do consistently well as a 2nd or 3rd choice. More information here.

Councils with No Overall Control in England up for election this year

Of those councils holding elections in England this year these are the 24 councils currently in No Overall Control.

Labour and Conservatives both run six councils each as minority administrations, Liberal Democrats only one. Labour is in coalition with independents in one council and with the Green party in another and with Liberal Democrats in three. Conservatives are in coalition with independents in three councils and share power with Liberal Democrats and Independents in a multi-party coalition in one council. More information here.

Councils with No Overall Control in Scotland up for election this year

Of those councils holding elections in Scotland this year these are the 29 councils currently in No Overall Control.  Local elections in Scotland are run using the Single Transferrable Vote (STV) system which encourages multi party representation in each ward making it much harder for any single party to have overall control of a council.

Before the Scottish local elections, Labour runs seven minority administrations, SNP runs six and the Conservatives one. Labour-SNP coalitions are in power in 5 councils. Labour is also in a multi party coalition in 3 other councils and SNP in one.  Conservatives are two party coalitions with the Liberal Democrats and independents in one council each and with both in three councils. More information here.

Councils with No Overall Control in Wales up for election this year

Of those councils holding elections in Wales this year these are the 11 councils currently in No Overall Control. More information here.

Council Composition Type
Isle of Anglesey County Council Independent-Plaid Cymru Coalition
Bridgend County Borough Council
Labour Minority
Carmarthenshire County Council Independent-Plaid Cymru Coalition
Ceredigion County Council Independent-Plaid Cymru Coalition
Conwy County Borough Council Conservative-Independent Coalition
Denbighshire County Council Conservative-Independent Coalition
Flintshire County Council
Labour Minority
Pembrokeshire County Council Independent-Labour-Lib Dem-Plaid Cymru Coalition
Powys County Council Conservative-Independent Coalition
Vale of Glamorgan County Borough Council Independent-Labour Coalition
Wrexham County Borough Council Conservative-Independent Coalition
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Make sure you check out...

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Ipsos / LGIU polling on UK attitudes to local elections

State of the Locals, LGIU’s new polling data with Ipsos on UK attitudes to local elections, the work of councillors and role of local government is now available here along with LGIU’s response here. If you missed LGIU’s virtual panel on this and everything you need to know ahead of polling day, a recording is now available here.

One-stop shop for local elections analysis

The most pertinent local elections resources for you and your teams are now available here. Our analysis and coverage explores key election themes including: public trust, covid safety, transparency, personal safety and diversity.  This includes our much anticipated Ones to Watch guide to the 2022 local elections.

Resources for new councillors

Our extensive resources for new councillors are now live with all the training, resources, tools and support for new or recently elected members to hit the ground running and take a deep dive on the issues as well as the training and skills to take their skills to the next level.

This also includes our *new for 2022* guide for new councillors.

Are you an LGIU member?

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LGIU was founded in the UK in 1983. Now as LGIU England & Wales, LGIU Scotland, LGIU Ireland and LGIU Australia, we work for and with local authorities around the world, helping them to serve their local communities more effectively. We provide our members with the mix of insight, ideas and innovation that they need to get the job done and plan for the future. Put simply, we are here supporting local government every day. Find out more about LGIU membership or register for free on our website.

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