Local elections 2023

The LGIU’s one-stop-shop for all your election resources

Image: Benjamin44 via istock

On Thursday 4th May 230 councils in England will be holding local elections, followed soon after by all 11 councils in Northern Ireland on Thursday 18th May.

At LGIU, we firmly believe that the locals are the most important elections of our democracy – the ones where we elect the people who have the most impact on the villages, towns and cities where we live and work. This year, in the run up to the elections we will be bringing you in-depth briefings, events, commentary and analysis, including:

  • in-depth resources for those running elections, including briefings on communications issues and voter ID
  • our annual ‘ones to watch’ guide to all the key election  battlegrounds
  • weekly election bulletins throughout April, delivered in partnership with media monitoring service Vuelio.

New for 23rd March: this week we are focusing on transparency and public trust We have some key new content for you, including:

  • a guide to elections communications, which offers tips and advice on communicating with the public about elections and the subsequent results
  • a new article from our Local Democracy Research Centre about the possible impact of the new voter ID rules on public trust.

This page will be updated in the weeks leading up to the elections with resources covering:

LGIU members will be kept informed of new content via their morning Daily News emails – so make sure you have opted to receive these emails by visiting ‘My updates‘ in your website account. If you haven’t yet registered on the website then sign up here.

Non-members will be updated in their Friday newsletter, And Finally…, so make sure you have selected this option by visiting ‘My updates‘ in your website account.

Personal safety

From campaigning for election, to participating in public meetings, to holding regular surgeries – councillors have to be available and approachable, it’s part of the role. Unfortunately this can mean that they are occasionally the targets for aggressive and threatening behaviour.

Photo by Tom W on Unsplash

Personal safety for councillors

Our personal safety is something many of us take for granted, this short guide – reviewed for 2023 – offers some guidance on assessing risk and adopting strategies and behaviours that will minimise any potential hazards you might identify as part of your councillor role. This guide is free for everyone to read, but you must be signed in to you website account. Read this guide.

Rising tensions, what does it mean for democracy?

Are we seeing a rising tide of political violence against councillors? As we launch our 2023 election resources, we look at rising levels of hostility and offer councillors, candidates and election staff some sensible support and a call for action and awareness.

Read the article here.

Safety and self-protection booster

This two-hour online session (15 March) will provide attendees with practical techniques and tips to help you assess risk and adopt strategies to minimise potential hazards. We will cover how to implement personal safety procedures, interact safely with members of the public and stay safe when out and about. This session is FREE for LGIU members and only £10 for non-members. Book now.

Running elections

Ensuring the smooth running of local elections is a huge task, months and years in the planning. This year, officers running the English local elections are also the first to implement and oversee new voter ID regulations.

Image: Akabei via istock

Elections issues for English local authorities 2023

This member-only briefing covers some essential issues, such as the publicity code, tackling discriminatory election campaigns, using data during campaigning and the position of elected members who are also campaigning for re-election. Read the briefing.

The changing job of running elections

Peter Stanyon, Chief Executive of the Association of Electoral Administrators discusses the challenges that face those who run our elections. A job made more complicated this May year by the introduction of voter ID and polling station complexities. Read the article.

The face of democracy: photo ID arrives at UK elections

For the first time, voters across England must show photo ID at council elections this May. The same will apply throughout Great Britain at future general elections. But are election staff ready for the change, and have concerns over using ID been overcome? This briefing takes a look into the details. Read the briefing.

Running elections: the state of electoral integrity before the 2023 local elections

In this article, Dr. Greg Stride of LGIU’s Local Democracy Research Centre disseminates the findings of his recent PhD into the health of England’s electoral system. He conducted in-depth interviews with electoral staff and collated their experiences and views on the current situation and the changes ahead, including the implementation of voter ID. Read this article.

Election fever

There has been so much going on in British politics recently it is easy to forget we are already in the countdown for May’s local elections, writes our Chief Executive, Jonathan Carr-West. Read the article.

Be part of our post-elections research

The Local Democracy Research Centre will be carrying on with vital work looking at elections and election administration both in the UK and elsewhere. If you are interested in this research and would like to become involved then please contact Greg Stride.

Transparency and public trust

Transparency, clear communication and accountability are all crucial when engaging people around elections and vital to how much they trust the outcomes. And local democracy and local government lives or dies by public trust

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Essential guide to Local Election Communications 2023

This guide is focussed on some easy steps to make election communications better so that local people know where to vote, who they can vote for and how much their vote mattered in the final outcome. Read this guide.

Voter ID and the question of trust

In this think piece, Dr. Greg Stride from LGIU’s Local Democracy Research Centre asks whether the implementation of voter ID in UK elections will resolve the increasing worry surrounding lost trust in elections and democracy as a whole. Read this article.

Global Local: Young people and democracy

This recent Global Local newsletter draws on research and case studies from around the world to examine how young people view democracy and what local government can do to build engagement with young voters. Read this newsletter.

Read all about it – Councils and local journalism

Local democracy reporters employed by the BBC have made a huge difference to the coverage of councils in the UK. But with many local papers having closed, there is no guarantee that residents know what their council is doing. Our new briefing looks at the health of local journalism. Read this briefing.

Global Local: Misinformation and disinformation

This edition of our newsletter Global Local explored how local governments can respond to misinformation and disinformation in their communities. Read this edition.

Communications training from LGIU

LGIU Training offers a curriculum of communications essentials. It will help equip you with the skills and techniques to get your message across in the most effective and appropriate way. Find out more.

Local government essentials

Local government is essential – we all know that. But here are some essential facts, figures and training about and for local government.

Image: KevinAlexanderGeorge via istock

How is local government structured?

The structure of local government varies from area to area, and region to region. In total there are five possible types of local authority in England, while Northern Ireland’s 11 authorities are all unitary. Find out more here.

Training for your new councillors

The LGIU’s new build your own training curriculum is perfect for developing the training that your new intake of councillors will need come May. We have a ready made curriculum which covers all the essentials for being an effective councillor or you can mix different sessions to create something unique for your new councillors. Find out more or explore our full in-house training offer.

What is local government responsible for?

Councils are responsible for a very wide range of services, many of which are statutory (i.e. they are legally required to fulfil them). Find out here which type of authority is responsible for which service.

How your money is spent BBC/LGIU infographics

We are proud to have once again partnered with the BBC on our “How your money is spent” infographics as we continue to tell the story of local government – councillors and officers – working day in and day out to support our communities. Contact us if you would like a copy for your council or for any additional information

All LGIU courses for councillors

As an elected member, you want the right tools to help you make an impact in your community. You strive to make progress for your residents. You aim to foster positive working relationships across your council. Dive into our full course programme for councillors.

Want to talk to us about the elections?

We have been covering the local elections for well over a decade now and have a wealth of valuable insight. We have experts available to provide commentary and discussion across a range of election issues. Get in touch via our press team.

Are you an LGIU member?

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 and we have member councils across the UK, Ireland and Australia. Put simply, we are here supporting local government every day.

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