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State of the Locals

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UK attitudes to local elections, the work of councillors and role of local government

The LGIU has worked with Ipsos on this exclusive polling data to understand UK attitudes to local elections, the work of councillors and role of local government ahead of polling day on 5 May 2022. LGIU’s official statement on the results. Download full polling presentation.

The polling date was previewed at LGIU’s State of the Locals election experts panel on Thursday 21 April with speakers Keiran Pedley (Research Director, Ipsos UK), Peter Stanyon (Chief Executive, Association of Electoral Administrators), Allan Faulds (Ballot Box Scotland), Jonathan Carr-West (Chief Executive, LGIU) and Ingrid Koehler (Head of Content, LGIU). You can watch the discussion again here.

State of the Locals is part of LGIU’s one-stop-shop for local elections resources, the most pertinent local elections resources for you and your teams. Our analysis and coverage covers key election themes including: public trust, covid safety, transparency, personal safety and diversity.

All of your post local election resources or new or recently elected councillors can be found here.

Voting in local elections

As far as voting in local elections, 7 in 10 adults in the UK feel they are well informed about why it’s important to do so and 83% of those who often/always vote in local elections feel they are well informed about why it’s important. However, a clear disconnect plays out on polling day when turnout in local elections is only around 3 in 10 adults.

 

Knowledge and awareness of the work of local government and local councillors

A good majority of respondents lacked knowledge and awareness about how councils work and what councillors actually do. 

More than half of UK adults (53%) said they know little or nothing about the work of their local councillors and how decisions are taken in their local council (54%). Similarly, when it comes to confidence in explaining to others what local councillors do or how decisions are made by their local council more than half of the UK adults say they are not confident in doing so (53% and 56% respectively).

 

Impact of local government and local councillors in our communities

According to the new polling, local government and local councillors were overwhelmingly felt to have the most impact on people’s daily lives and the quality of life in our communities

Impact of the work of local councillors

About a third of UK adults (32%) said the local councillors in their area do a bad job at telling people about the work they do in their local area. However, more than a third (36%) think local councillors in their area do a good job at providing information on issues / services in their local area and at making decisions in the best interests of their local community.

 

Views on decision making across local government

When it comes to decision making in local areas, about a third said they would like to know more about the process, but don’t want to be involved beyond that. On the other side, more than 1 in 4 said they would like to have more of a say in how decisions are taken in their area.

 

Ipsos polling data

Ipsos UK interviewed a representative quota sample of 2,076 adults aged 18-75 in the United Kingdom. Interviews took place on the online Omnibus using the Ipsos. Digital platform between 8th and 11th April 2022.

The data has been weighted to the known offline population proportions for age, working status and social grade within gender, and for government office region and education, to reflect the adult population of the United Kingdom.

For full data set, consult Ipsos website or contact [email protected].