1979 United Kingdom local elections

Last updated
United Kingdom local elections
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
  1978 3 May 1979 1980  

All 36 metropolitan boroughs, all 296 English districts and all 37 Welsh districts
 Majority partyMinority partyThird party
  Margaret Thatcher (1983).jpg James Callaghan ppmsca.53218 (cropped).tif
Leader Margaret Thatcher James Callaghan David Steel
Party Conservative Labour Liberal
Leader since11 February 19755 April 19767 July 1976
Councils +/-Decrease2.svg 6Increase2.svg 12Increase2.svg 1
Councillors12,2227,4101,059
Councillors +/-Decrease2.svg 423Increase2.svg 766Increase2.svg 136

Local elections were held in the United Kingdom on 3 May 1979 [1] [2] (the same day as the general election). The results provided some source of comfort to the Labour Party (UK), who recovered some lost ground from local election reversals in previous years, despite losing the general election to the Conservative Party on the same day. The Liberals also gained councillors and a council.

Contents

Labour gained 766 seats, bringing their number of councillors to 7,410.

The Conservatives lost 423 seats, leaving them with 12,222 councillors.

The Liberal Party gained 136 seats and finished with 1,059 councillors.

Changes in council control were as follows;

Labour gain from no overall control: Bassetlaw, Carlisle, Hartlepool, Newcastle-under-Lyme, South Tyneside

Labour gain from Conservative: Barrow-in-Furness, Coventry, Derby, Ipswich, Nottingham, Sandwell, Tameside, Welwyn Hatfield

Labour lose to no overall control: Thurrock

Conservative lose to no overall control: Birmingham, Cambridge, Cheltenham, Kirklees, Leeds, Pendle, Rochdale, Rugby, Warrington, Wyre Forest

Conservative gain from no overall control: Adur, Stratford-on-Avon

Conservative gain from Independent: Hart

Conservative gain from Democratic Labour: Lincoln

Liberal gain from no overall control: Medina

Independent lose to no overall control: South Lakeland, West Lindsey

Summary of results

England

Metropolitan boroughs

Whole council

In 6 metropolitan boroughs the whole council was up for election.

In 6 boroughs there were new ward boundaries, following electoral boundary reviews by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.

CouncilPrevious controlResultDetails
Barnsley Labour Labour hold Details
Bury Conservative Conservative hold Details
Oldham Conservative Conservative hold Details
Sandwell Conservative Labour gain Details
Sefton Conservative Conservative hold Details
Solihull Conservative Conservative hold Details

‡ New ward boundaries

Third of council

30 metropolitan borough councils had one third of their seats up for election.

CouncilPrevious controlResultDetails
Birmingham Conservative No overall control gain Details
Bolton Conservative Conservative hold Details
Bradford Conservative Conservative hold Details
Calderdale Conservative Conservative hold Details
Coventry Conservative Labour gain Details
Doncaster Labour Labour hold Details
Dudley Conservative Conservative hold Details
Gateshead Labour Labour hold Details
Kirklees Conservative No overall control gain Details
Knowsley Labour Labour hold Details
Leeds Conservative No overall control gain Details
Liverpool No overall control No overall control hold Details
Manchester Labour Labour hold Details
Newcastle upon Tyne Labour Labour hold Details
North Tyneside Labour Labour hold Details
Rochdale Conservative No overall control gain Details
Rotherham Labour Labour hold Details
Salford Labour Labour hold Details
Sheffield Labour Labour hold Details
South Tyneside No overall control Labour gain Details
St Helens Labour Labour hold Details
Stockport Conservative Conservative hold Details
Sunderland Labour Labour hold Details
Tameside Conservative Labour gain Details
Trafford Conservative Conservative hold Details
Wakefield Labour Labour hold Details
Walsall No overall control No overall control hold Details
Wigan Labour Labour hold Details
Wirral Conservative Conservative hold Details
Wolverhampton No overall control No overall control hold Details

District councils

Whole council

In 252 districts the whole council was up for election.

In 153 districts there were new ward boundaries, following electoral boundary reviews by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.

CouncilPrevious controlResultDetails
Adur No overall control Conservative gain Details
Allerdale No overall control No overall control hold Details
Alnwick Independent No overall control gain Details
Amber Valley No overall control No overall control hold Details
Arun Conservative Conservative hold Details
Ashfield Labour Labour hold Details
Ashford Conservative No overall control gain Details
Aylesbury Vale No overall control Conservative gain Details
Babergh No overall control No overall control hold Details
Barrow-in-Furness Conservative Labour gain Details
Basildon No overall control No overall control hold Details
Bassetlaw No overall control Labour gain Details
Beaconsfield Conservative Conservative hold Details
Berwick-upon-Tweed Independent Independent hold Details
Beverley Conservative Conservative hold Details
Blaby Conservative Conservative hold Details
Blackburn No overall control No overall control hold Details
Blackpool Conservative Conservative hold Details
Blyth Valley No overall control Labour gain Details
Bolsover Labour Labour hold Details
Boothferry Independent Conservative gain Details
Boston No overall control No overall control hold Details
Bournemouth Conservative Conservative hold Details
Bracknell Conservative Conservative hold Details
Braintree Conservative No overall control gain Details
Breckland No overall control Conservative gain Details
Bridgnorth Independent Independent hold Details
Brighton Conservative Conservative hold Details
Bristol Labour Labour hold Details
Broadland Conservative Conservative hold Details
Bromsgrove Conservative Conservative hold Details
Broxtowe Conservative Conservative hold Details
Canterbury Conservative Conservative hold Details
Caradon Independent Independent hold Details
Carlisle No overall control Labour gain Details
Carrick Independent Conservative gain Details
Castle Morpeth No overall control No overall control hold Details
Castle Point Conservative Conservative hold Details
Charnwood Conservative Conservative hold Details
Chelmsford Conservative Conservative hold Details
Cheltenham Conservative No overall control gain Details
Cherwell Conservative Conservative hold Details
Chester Conservative Conservative hold Details
Chesterfield Labour Labour hold Details
Chester-le-Street Labour Labour hold Details
Chichester Conservative Conservative hold Details
Chiltern Conservative Conservative hold Details
Christchurch Conservative Conservative hold Details
Cleethorpes No overall control No overall control hold Details
Copeland No overall control Labour gain Details
Corby Conservative Labour gain Details
Cotswold Independent Independent hold Details
Craven Conservative Conservative hold Details
Crawley Labour Labour hold Details
Crewe and Nantwich No overall control No overall control hold Details
Dacorum Conservative Conservative hold Details
Darlington Conservative Labour gain Details
Dartford Labour Labour hold Details
Daventry Conservative Conservative hold Details
Derby Conservative Labour gain Details
Derwentside Labour Labour hold Details
Dover Conservative Conservative hold Details
Durham Labour No overall control gain Details
Easington Labour Labour hold Details
East Cambridgeshire Independent Independent hold Details
East Devon Conservative Conservative hold Details
East Hampshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
East Hertfordshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
East Lindsey Independent Independent hold Details
East Northamptonshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
East Staffordshire Conservative No overall control gain Details
Eden Independent Independent hold Details
Epping Forest Conservative Conservative hold Details
Epsom and Ewell Independent Independent hold Details
Erewash Conservative Conservative hold Details
Exeter Conservative Conservative hold Details
Fenland Conservative Conservative hold Details
Forest Heath No overall control Conservative gain Details
Forest of Dean No overall control No overall control hold Details
Fylde Conservative Conservative hold Details
Gedling Conservative Conservative hold Details
Gillingham Conservative Conservative hold Details
Glanford Independent Conservative gain Details
Gloucester Conservative Conservative hold Details
Gosport Conservative Conservative hold Details
Gravesham Conservative Conservative hold Details
Great Yarmouth Conservative Conservative hold Details
Grimsby Conservative Labour gain Details
Guildford Conservative Conservative hold Details
Hambleton Independent Independent hold Details
Harborough Conservative Conservative hold Details
Hart Independent Conservative gain Details
Hartlepool No overall control Labour gain Details
Hastings Conservative Conservative hold Details
Hereford No overall control No overall control hold Details
High Peak Conservative No overall control gain Details
Hinckley and Bosworth Conservative Conservative hold Details
Holderness Independent Independent hold Details
Horsham Conservative Conservative hold Details
Hove Conservative Conservative hold Details
Hyndburn Conservative Conservative hold Details
Ipswich Conservative Labour gain Details
Kennet Independent Independent hold Details
Kerrier Independent No overall control gain Details
Kettering No overall control No overall control hold Details
Kingston upon Hull Labour Labour hold Details
Kingswood No overall control No overall control hold Details
Lancaster Conservative Conservative hold Details
Langbaurgh Conservative Labour gain Details
Leicester Conservative Labour gain Details
Leominster Independent Independent hold Details
Lewes Conservative Conservative hold Details
Lichfield Conservative Conservative hold Details
Lincoln Democratic Labour Conservative gain Details
Luton Conservative Conservative hold Details
Macclesfield Conservative Conservative hold Details
Maidstone Conservative Conservative hold Details
Maldon Conservative Conservative hold Details
Malvern Hills Independent Independent hold Details
Mansfield Labour Labour hold Details
Medina No overall control Liberal gain Details
Medway Conservative Conservative hold Details
Melton Conservative Conservative hold Details
Mendip No overall control Independent gain Details
Mid Bedfordshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
Mid Devon Independent Independent hold Details
Mid Suffolk No overall control No overall control hold Details
Mid Sussex No overall control Conservative gain Details
Middlesbrough Labour Labour hold Details
New Forest Conservative Conservative hold Details
Newark and Sherwood Conservative No overall control gain Details
Newbury Conservative Conservative hold Details
Newcastle-under-Lyme No overall control Labour gain Details
North Bedfordshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
North Cornwall Independent Independent hold Details
North Devon Independent Independent hold Details
North Dorset Independent Independent hold Details
North East Derbyshire No overall control Labour gain Details
North Hertfordshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
North Kesteven Independent Independent hold Details
North Norfolk Independent Independent hold Details
North Shropshire Independent Independent hold Details
North Warwickshire No overall control Labour gain Details
North West Leicestershire No overall control Labour gain Details
North Wiltshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
North Wolds Independent Conservative gain Details
Northampton Conservative Conservative hold Details
Northavon Conservative Conservative hold Details
Norwich Labour Labour hold Details
Nottingham Conservative Labour gain Details
Nuneaton Labour Labour hold Details
Oadby and Wigston Conservative Conservative hold Details
Oswestry Independent Independent hold Details
Oxford Conservative Conservative hold Details
Penwith Independent Independent hold Details
Plymouth Conservative Conservative hold Details
Poole Conservative Conservative hold Details
Portsmouth Conservative Conservative hold Details
Purbeck Independent Independent hold Details
Reading No overall control No overall control hold Details
Redditch Conservative Conservative hold Details
Reigate and Banstead Conservative Conservative hold Details
Restormel Independent Independent hold Details
Ribble Valley Conservative Conservative hold Details
Richmondshire Independent Independent hold Details
Rother Independent No overall control gain Details
Rugby Conservative No overall control gain Details
Rushcliffe Conservative Conservative hold Details
Rushmoor Conservative Conservative hold Details
Rutland Independent Independent hold Details
Ryedale Independent Independent hold Details
Salisbury No overall control No overall control hold Details
Scarborough Conservative Conservative hold Details
Scunthorpe Labour Labour hold Details
Sedgefield Labour Labour hold Details
Sedgemoor Conservative Conservative hold Details
Selby No overall control Conservative gain Details
Sevenoaks Conservative Conservative hold Details
Shepway Conservative Conservative hold Details
Slough Conservative Conservative hold Details
South Derbyshire No overall control No overall control hold Details
South Hams Independent Independent hold Details
South Herefordshire Independent Independent hold Details
South Holland Independent Independent hold Details
South Kesteven No overall control Conservative gain Details
South Lakeland Independent No overall control gain Details
South Norfolk No overall control Conservative gain Details
South Northamptonshire No overall control Conservative gain Details
South Oxfordshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
South Ribble Conservative Conservative hold Details
South Shropshire Independent Independent hold Details
South Staffordshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
South Wight Independent Independent hold Details
Southampton Conservative Conservative hold Details
Spelthorne Conservative Conservative hold Details
St Albans Conservative Conservative hold Details
St Edmundsbury Conservative Conservative hold Details
Stafford No overall control No overall control hold Details
Staffordshire Moorlands No overall control No overall control hold Details
Stevenage Labour Labour hold Details
Stockton-on-Tees Conservative Labour gain Details
Stoke-on-Trent Labour Labour hold Details
Stratford-on-Avon No overall control Conservative gain Details
Stroud Conservative Conservative hold Details
Suffolk Coastal Conservative Conservative hold Details
Surrey Heath Conservative Conservative hold Details
Swale Conservative Conservative hold Details
Taunton Deane Conservative Conservative hold Details
Teesdale Independent Independent hold Details
Teignbridge Independent Independent hold Details
Tendring Conservative Conservative hold Details
Test Valley No overall control Conservative gain Details
Tewkesbury Independent Independent hold Details
Thanet Conservative Conservative hold Details
The Wrekin Labour Labour hold Details
Thurrock Labour No overall control gain Details
Tonbridge and Malling Conservative Conservative hold Details
Torbay Conservative Conservative hold Details
Torridge Independent Independent hold Details
Tynedale Independent No overall control gain Details
Uttlesford Conservative Conservative hold Details
Vale of White Horse Conservative Conservative hold Details
Vale Royal No overall control No overall control hold Details
Wansbeck Labour Labour hold Details
Wansdyke Conservative Conservative hold Details
Warrington Conservative No overall control gain Details
Warwick Conservative Conservative hold Details
Waveney Conservative Conservative hold Details
Waverley Conservative Conservative hold Details
Wealden Conservative Conservative hold Details
Wear Valley No overall control Labour gain Details
Wellingborough Conservative Conservative hold Details
West Derbyshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
West Devon Independent Independent hold Details
West Dorset Independent Independent hold Details
West Lindsey Independent No overall control gain Details
West Norfolk Conservative Conservative hold Details
West Oxfordshire No overall control No overall control hold Details
West Somerset Independent Independent hold Details
West Wiltshire No overall control Conservative gain Details
Weymouth and Portland Conservative Conservative hold Details
Wimborne Conservative Conservative hold Details
Windsor and Maidenhead Conservative Conservative hold Details
Wokingham Conservative Conservative hold Details
Woodspring Conservative Conservative hold Details
Worcester Conservative Conservative hold Details
Worthing Conservative Conservative hold Details
Wychavon Independent Independent hold Details
Wycombe Conservative Conservative hold Details
Wyre Conservative Conservative hold Details
Wyre Forest Conservative No overall control gain Details
Yeovil Conservative No overall control gain Details
York Conservative Conservative hold Details

‡ New ward boundaries

Third of council

In 44 districts one third of the council was up for election.

CouncilPrevious controlResultDetails
Basingstoke and Deane Conservative Conservative hold Details
Bath Conservative Conservative hold Details
Brentwood Conservative Conservative hold Details
Broxbourne Conservative Conservative hold Details
Burnley Labour Labour hold Details
Cambridge Conservative No overall control gain Details
Cannock Chase Labour Labour hold Details
Chorley Conservative Conservative hold Details
Colchester Conservative Conservative hold Details
Congleton Conservative Conservative hold Details
Eastbourne Conservative Conservative hold Details
Eastleigh Conservative Conservative hold Details
Ellesmere Port and Neston Labour Labour hold Details
Elmbridge Conservative Conservative hold Details
Fareham Conservative Conservative hold Details
Halton Labour Labour hold Details
Harlow Labour Labour hold Details
Harrogate Conservative Conservative hold Details
Havant Conservative Conservative hold Details
Hertsmere Conservative Conservative hold Details
Huntingdon Conservative Conservative hold Details
Milton Keynes Conservative Conservative hold Details
Mole Valley No overall control No overall control hold Details
Pendle Conservative No overall control gain Details
Peterborough No overall control No overall control hold Details
Preston Conservative Conservative hold Details
Rochford Conservative Conservative hold Details
Rossendale Conservative Conservative hold Details
Runnymede Conservative Conservative hold Details
Shrewsbury and Atcham Conservative Conservative hold Details
South Bedfordshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
South Cambridgeshire Independent Independent hold Details
Southend-on-Sea Conservative Conservative hold Details
Tamworth Conservative Conservative hold Details
Tandridge Conservative Conservative hold Details
Thamesdown Labour Labour hold Details
Three Rivers Conservative Conservative hold Details
Tunbridge Wells Conservative Conservative hold Details
Watford Labour Labour hold Details
Welwyn Hatfield Conservative Labour gain Details
West Lancashire Conservative Conservative hold Details
Winchester No overall control Conservative gain Details
Woking Conservative Conservative hold Details

Wales

District councils

CouncilPrevious controlResultDetails
Aberconwy Independent Independent hold Details
Afan Independent Labour gain Details
Alyn and Deeside No overall control No overall control hold Details
Anglesey - Ynys Môn Independent Independent hold Details
Arfon Independent No overall control gain Details
Blaenau Gwent Labour Labour hold Details
Brecknock Independent Independent hold Details
Cardiff Conservative Labour gain Details
Carmarthen Independent Independent hold Details
Ceredigion Independent Independent hold Details
Colwyn No overall control No overall control hold Details
Cynon Valley Labour Labour hold Details
Delyn Independent No overall control gain Details
Dinefwr Independent Independent hold Details
Dwyfor Independent Independent hold Details
Glyndŵr Independent Independent hold Details
Islwyn No overall control Labour gain Details
Llanelli Labour Labour hold Details
Lliw Valley Labour Labour hold Details
Meirionnydd Independent Independent hold Details
Merthyr Tydfil Plaid Cymru Labour gain Details
Monmouth Conservative Conservative hold Details
Montgomery Independent Independent hold Details
Neath Labour Labour hold Details
Newport Conservative Labour gain Details
Ogwr No overall control No overall control hold Details
Preseli Independent Independent hold Details
Radnor Independent Independent hold Details
Rhondda Labour Labour hold Details
Rhuddlan Independent Independent hold Details
Rhymney Valley No overall control Labour gain Details
South Pembrokeshire Independent Independent hold Details
Swansea Independent Labour gain Details
Taff-Ely No overall control Labour gain Details
Torfaen Labour Labour hold Details
Vale of Glamorgan Conservative Conservative hold Details
Wrexham Maelor No overall control No overall control hold Details

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References

  1. Rallings, Colin; Thrasher, Michael. Local Elections Handbook 1979. The Elections Centre. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  2. "Council compositions". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 3 May 2016.