2018 United Kingdom local elections

Last updated

2018 United Kingdom local elections
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
  2017 3 May 2018 2019  

150 councils and 6 directly elected mayors
  Jeremy Corbyn closeup.jpg Theresa May in Tallin crop.jpg Vince Cable closeup.jpg
Leader Jeremy Corbyn Theresa May Vince Cable
Party Labour Conservative Liberal Democrats
Leader since12 September 201511 July 201620 July 2017
Popular vote [n 1] 35%35%16%
Swing [n 2] Increase2.svg8%Decrease2.svg3%Decrease2.svg2%
Councils74469
Councils +/– [n 3] Steady2.svgDecrease2.svg3Increase2.svg4
Councillors2,3531,332542
Councillors +/–Increase2.svg79Decrease2.svg35Increase2.svg76

2018 UK local elections Ward Control.svg
Map showing council control following the election.
Conservative:      
Labour:      
Liberal Democrats:      
No overall control:      
No election:     

Council elections in England were held on Thursday 3 May 2018. [2] Elections were held in all 32 London boroughs, 34 metropolitan boroughs, 67 district and borough councils and 17 unitary authorities. [3] There were also direct elections for the mayoralties of Hackney, Lewisham, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Watford.

Contents

With the exception of those areas that have had boundary changes, the seats up for election were last contested in the 2014 local elections.

A parliamentary by-election in West Tyrone took place the same day. [4] Various other local by-elections also took place.

Seats held prior to the election

According to a BBC News estimate, taking into account boundary changes, the major political parties are effectively defending the following 'notional' numbers of council seats on election day:

These numbers are how many seats each party won at the previous comparable election, generally in 2014, rather than which party held the seat on the eve of the election. [5] Some other news agencies, such as the Press Association, compare against the party holding a seat on the eve of the election, leading to a different analysis of gains and losses. [6] [7]

There are also 48 Residents Associations' councillors, and 100 'other' / independent councillors. [8]

Eligibility to vote

All registered electors (British, Irish, Commonwealth and European Union citizens) aged 18 or over [9] on polling day were entitled to vote in the local elections. [10] A person with two homes (such as a university student having a term-time address and living at home during holidays) was able to register to vote at both addresses as long as the addresses were not in the same electoral area, and was able to vote in the local elections for the two different local councils. [11]

In certain councils, there was a trial system in place where photo ID was required to vote. These councils were: Swindon, Gosport, Woking, Bromley, and Watford. [12] An estimated 4,000 electors were turned away from polling stations across these trial areas as a result of not having the appropriate form of ID. [13]

Results

The number of councils controlled by each party following the election are shown in the table below. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats made modest gains in terms of their respective number of councillors, whereas the Conservatives made a net loss of 35 seats. UKIP lost nearly all of the 126 seats they were defending, with only 3 councillors elected. [14]

Overall results

PartyCouncillorsCouncilsVotesProjected national
equivalent [n 1]
NumberChangeNumberChangeNumber [15] Share
Labour 2,353Increase2.svg7974Steady2.svg3,154,75341.2%35%
Conservative 1,332Decrease2.svg3546Decrease2.svg32,444,20431.9%35%
Liberal Democrats 542Increase2.svg769Increase2.svg41,067,66013.9%16%
Green 39Increase2.svg80Steady2.svg500,5806.5%14%
UKIP 3Decrease2.svg1230Steady2.svg101,8661.3%
Independent 96Increase2.svg170Steady2.svg392,1395.2%
Residents 44Decrease2.svg30Steady2.svg
Liberal 1Decrease2.svg10Steady2.svg
PATH 1Increase2.svg10Steady2.svg
Harold Hill Independent 1Increase2.svg10Steady2.svg
No overall control 21Decrease2.svg1

Results in London

The following table shows the aggregate results for the 32 councils that were up for election in London.

PartyCouncillorsCouncils
NumberChangeNumberChange
Labour 1,128Increase2.svg6721Increase2.svg1
Conservative 508Decrease2.svg927Decrease2.svg2
Liberal Democrats 152Increase2.svg343Increase2.svg2
Residents 25Decrease2.svg20Steady2.svg
Green 11Increase2.svg70Steady2.svg
Independent 7Increase2.svg50Steady2.svg
UKIP 0Decrease2.svg90Steady2.svg
PATH 1Increase2.svg10Steady2.svg
Harold Hill Independent 1Increase2.svg10Steady2.svg
No overall control 1Decrease2.svg1

Due to boundary changes, the figures for seat losses/gains are notional changes calculated by the BBC, and do not match up precisely to the London-wide results in 2014.

Results outside of London

The following table shows the aggregate results for the 118 councils that were up for election outside of London.

PartyCouncillorsCouncils
NumberChangeNumberChange
Labour 1,225Increase2.svg1253Decrease2.svg1
Conservative 824Increase2.svg5739Decrease2.svg1
Liberal Democrats 390Increase2.svg426Increase2.svg2
Independent 89Increase2.svg120Steady2.svg
Green 28Increase2.svg10Steady2.svg
Residents 21Steady2.svg0Steady2.svg
UKIP 3Decrease2.svg1140Steady2.svg
Liberal 1Decrease2.svg10Steady2.svg
No overall control 20Steady2.svg

Only four councils switched from a majority for one party to another. The Conservatives gained Redditch from Labour, and lost control of three councils to the Liberal Democrats: Kingston upon Thames, Richmond upon Thames and South Cambridgeshire. The Liberal Democrats also gained Three Rivers District Council from no overall control. Labour gained a majority on three councils that had been under no overall control (Kirklees, Plymouth and Tower Hamlets) while losing their majority on two (Derby and Nuneaton and Bedworth). The Conservatives gained a majority on one council that had been under no overall control (Basildon) while losing their majority on two (Mole Valley and Trafford). [16]

Labour won the inaugural mayoral election for the Sheffield City Region. Five other mayoral elections saw no change in the winning party: Labour held four and the Liberal Democrats held one.

Analysis

This was the first set of local elections since the 2017 general election. Most of the seats up for election had last been contested in the 2014 local elections.

Because the group of local councils varies with each cycle of local elections, the BBC and other analysts calculated a projected national vote share, which aims to assess what the council results indicate the UK-wide vote would be if the results were repeated at a general election. The BBC's estimate put Labour on 35% of the vote (up 8% since 2017), the Conservatives on 35% (down 3%), the Liberal Democrats on 16% (down 2%). [17] In the May 2017 local elections, the projected national voteshare was 38% for the Conservatives, 27% for Labour, 18% for the Liberal Democrats and 5% for UKIP. When votes were still being counted, media reports widely described the result as "mixed" for both Labour and the Conservatives. [18] The results suggested that support for the parties had not moved much since the general election 11 months earlier. [19] Some reports considered the results a relief for Theresa May and the Conservatives. [20] [21]

Ben Margulies, a research fellow at the University of Warwick, noted how the United Kingdom Independence Party's collapse in vote share directly benefited the Conservatives as they committed to exiting the European Union. Margulies stated that the Conservatives' position with the electorate will "remain perched on a precipice". [22] Matthew Mokhefi-Ashton, a politics lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, argued that Labour had set their expectations too high and thus made the actual result look disappointing by comparison. [23] David Cutts, a professor of political science at the University of Birmingham, described the Liberal Democrats' performance in the election as "underwhelming" in contrast to the media response, arguing that the party only made moderate gains in their strongholds from before the Liberal-Conservative coalition and council areas that were seen as "Strong Remain" and "Strong Leave". Cutts argued that the next local elections in England are a greater test of their stability as they feature substantially more strongholds. [24]

London boroughs

All seats in the 32 London borough councils were up for election.

CouncilPrevious controlResult
Barking and Dagenham Labour Labour [25]
Barnet No overall control (Conservative minority) Conservative [26]
Bexley Conservative Conservative [27]
Brent Labour Labour [28]
Bromley Conservative Conservative [29]
Camden Labour Labour [30]
Croydon Labour Labour [31]
Ealing Labour Labour [32]
Enfield Labour Labour [33]
Greenwich Labour Labour [34]
Hackney Labour Labour
Hammersmith and Fulham Labour Labour [35]
Haringey Labour Labour [36]
Harrow Labour Labour
Havering No overall control (Conservative minority) No overall control [37] (Conservative minority)
Hillingdon Conservative Conservative [38]
Hounslow Labour Labour [39]
Islington Labour Labour [40]
Kensington and Chelsea Conservative Conservative [41]
Kingston upon Thames Conservative Liberal Democrats [42]
Lambeth Labour Labour [43]
Lewisham Labour Labour [44]
Merton Labour Labour [45]
Newham Labour Labour [46]
Redbridge Labour Labour
Richmond upon Thames Conservative Liberal Democrats [47]
Southwark Labour Labour [48]
Sutton Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats [49]
Tower Hamlets No overall control (Labour minority) Labour [50]
Waltham Forest Labour Labour [51]
Wandsworth Conservative Conservative [52]
Westminster Conservative Conservative [53]

Metropolitan boroughs

Whole council

4 metropolitan boroughs had all of their seats up for election following boundary changes.

CouncilPrevious controlResult
Birmingham Labour Labour
Leeds Labour Labour [54]
Manchester Labour Labour [55]
Newcastle upon Tyne Labour Labour [56]

One third of the seats in 30 metropolitan boroughs were up for election:

CouncilPrevious controlResult
Barnsley Labour Labour
Bolton Labour Labour [57]
Bradford Labour Labour [58]
Bury Labour Labour [59]
Calderdale No overall control (Labour minority) No overall control [60] (Labour minority)
Coventry Labour Labour [61]
Dudley No overall control (Conservative minority) No overall control [62] (Conservative minority)
Gateshead Labour Labour [63]
Kirklees No overall control (Labour minority) Labour [64]
Knowsley Labour Labour [65]
Liverpool Labour Labour [66]
North Tyneside Labour Labour [67]
Oldham Labour Labour [68]
Rochdale Labour Labour [69]
St Helens Labour Labour [70]
Salford Labour Labour [71]
Sandwell Labour Labour [72]
Sefton Labour Labour [73]
Sheffield Labour Labour [74]
Solihull Conservative Conservative [75]
South Tyneside Labour Labour [76]
Stockport No overall control (Labour minority) No overall control [77] (Labour minority)
Sunderland Labour Labour [78]
Tameside Labour Labour [79]
Trafford Conservative No overall control (Labour with Lib Dem support) [80]
Wakefield Labour Labour [81]
Walsall No overall control (Conservative minority) No overall control [82] (Conservative minority)
Wigan Labour Labour [83]
Wirral Labour Labour [84]
Wolverhampton Labour Labour [85]

Unitary authorities

Whole council

One unitary authority had all of its seats up for election following boundary changes.

CouncilPrevious controlResult
Kingston upon Hull Labour Labour [86]

Third of council

One third of the council seats were up for election in 16 unitary authorities.

CouncilPrevious controlResult
Blackburn with Darwen Labour Labour [87]
Derby Labour No overall control (Con with UKIP and Lib Dem support) [88] [89]
Halton Labour Labour [90]
Hartlepool Labour Labour [91]
Milton Keynes No overall control (Labour with Lib Dem support) No overall control (Labour with Lib Dem support) [92] [93]
North East Lincolnshire No overall control (Lab minority) No overall control (Lab with Lib Dem support) [94] [95]
Peterborough No overall control (Conservative minority) Conservative [96]
Plymouth Conservative Labour [97]
Portsmouth No overall control (Conservative minority) No overall control (Lib Dem with Lab support) [98] [99]
Reading Labour Labour [100]
Slough Labour Labour [101]
Southampton Labour Labour [102]
Southend-on-Sea Conservative Conservative [103]
Swindon Conservative Conservative [104]
Thurrock No overall control (Conservative minority) No overall control [105] (Conservative minority)
Wokingham Conservative Conservative [106]

Non-metropolitan districts

Whole council

Seven non-metropolitan districts have all of their seats up for election.

CouncilPrevious controlResult
Eastleigh Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats [107]
Harrogate Conservative Conservative [108]
Hastings Labour Labour [109]
Huntingdonshire Conservative Conservative [110]
Newcastle-under-Lyme No overall control (Conservative minority) No overall control [111] (Conservative minority)
South Cambridgeshire Conservative Liberal Democrats [112]
South Lakeland Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats [113]

Half of council

Six non-metropolitan districts have half of their seats up for election.

CouncilPrevious controlResult
Adur Conservative Conservative [114]
Cheltenham Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats [115]
Fareham Conservative Conservative [116]
Gosport Conservative Conservative [117]
Nuneaton and Bedworth Labour No overall control (Lab minority) [118] [119]
Oxford Labour Labour [120]

Third of council

54 district councils had one third of their seats up for election. Weymouth and Portland originally had elections scheduled for 2018, but the elections were postponed indefinitely following a decision to merge the council into a unitary Dorset Council from 2019 onwards. [121] [122]

These were the last elections to Daventry District Council, following the decision to abolish it along with Northamptonshire County Council and its 7 district councils into two unitary authorities in 2020.

CouncilPrevious controlResult
Amber Valley Conservative Conservative [123]
Basildon No overall control Conservative [124]
Basingstoke and Deane Conservative Conservative [125]
Brentwood Conservative Conservative [126]
Broxbourne Conservative Conservative [127]
Burnley Labour Labour [128]
Cambridge Labour Labour [129]
Cannock Chase Labour Labour [130]
Carlisle No overall control No overall control [131]
Castle Point Conservative Conservative [132]
Cherwell Conservative Conservative [133]
Chorley Labour Labour [134]
Colchester No overall control No overall control [135]
Craven Conservative Conservative [136]
Crawley Labour Labour [137]
Daventry Conservative Conservative [138]
Elmbridge Conservative No overall control [139]
Epping Forest Conservative Conservative [140]
Exeter Labour Labour [141]
Great Yarmouth Conservative Conservative [142]
Harlow Labour Labour [143]
Hart No overall control No overall control [144]
Havant Conservative Conservative [145]
Hyndburn Labour Labour [146]
Ipswich Labour Labour [147]
Lincoln Labour Labour [148]
Maidstone No overall control No overall control [149]
Mole Valley Conservative No overall control [150]
North Hertfordshire Conservative Conservative [151]
Norwich Labour Labour [152]
Pendle No overall control No overall control [153]
Preston Labour Labour [154]
Redditch Labour Conservative [155]
Reigate and Banstead Conservative Conservative [156]
Rochford Conservative Conservative [157]
Rossendale Labour Labour [158]
Rugby Conservative Conservative [159]
Runnymede Conservative Conservative [160]
Rushmoor Conservative Conservative [161]
St Albans Conservative Conservative [162]
Stevenage Labour Labour [163]
Tamworth Conservative Conservative [164]
Tandridge Conservative Conservative [165]
Three Rivers No overall control Liberal Democrats [166]
Tunbridge Wells Conservative Conservative [167]
Watford Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats [168]
Welwyn Hatfield Conservative Conservative [169]
West Lancashire Labour Labour [170]
West Oxfordshire Conservative Conservative [171]
Winchester Conservative Conservative [172]
Woking Conservative Conservative [173]
Worcester No overall control No overall control [174]
Worthing Conservative Conservative [175]
Wyre Forest Conservative Conservative [176]

Mayoral elections

There were five local authority mayoral elections and one metropolitan mayoral election.

Combined authorities

Combined AuthorityNew mayor
Sheffield City Region (South Yorkshire) Dan Jarvis (Lab)

Local authorities

CouncilPrevious mayorNew mayor
Hackney Philip Glanville (Lab) Philip Glanville (Lab)
Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock (Lab) Damien Egan (Lab)
Newham Sir Robin Wales (Lab) Rokhsana Fiaz (Lab)
Tower Hamlets John Biggs (Lab) John Biggs (Lab)
Watford Dorothy Thornhill (Lib Dem) Peter Taylor (Lib Dem)

Notes

  1. 1 2 All vote shares in the infobox are projected national equivalent vote shares calculated by the BBC. [1]
  2. Swing figures are the percentile changes between the BBC projected national equivalent vote share from 2017 United Kingdom local elections and the same for these local elections that were held in different areas.
  3. Compared to the last time these elections were held, four years previously.

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  145. "Havant Borough Council". BBC News.
  146. "Hyndburn Borough Council". BBC News.
  147. "Ipswich Borough Council". BBC News.
  148. "City of Lincoln Council". BBC News.
  149. "Maidstone Borough Council". BBC News.
  150. "Mole Valley District Council". BBC News.
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  152. "Norwich City Council". BBC News.
  153. "Pendle Borough Council". BBC News.
  154. "Preston City Council". BBC News.
  155. "Redditch Borough Council". BBC News.
  156. "Reigate and Banstead Borough Council". BBC News.
  157. "Rochford District Council". BBC News.
  158. "Rossendale Borough Council". BBC News.
  159. "Rugby Borough Council". BBC News.
  160. "Runnymede Borough Council". BBC News.
  161. "Rushmoor Borough Council". BBC News.
  162. "St Albans City & District Council". BBC News.
  163. "Stevenage Borough Council". BBC News.
  164. "Tamworth Borough Council". BBC News.
  165. "Tandridge District Council". BBC News.
  166. "Three Rivers District Council". BBC News.
  167. "Tunbridge Wells Borough Council". BBC News.
  168. "Watford Borough Council". BBC News.
  169. "Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council". BBC News.
  170. "West West Lancashire Borough Council". BBC News.
  171. "West Oxfordshire Borough Council". BBC News.
  172. "Winchester City Council". BBC News.
  173. "Woking Borough Council". BBC News.
  174. "Worcester City Council". BBC News.
  175. "Worthing Borough Council". BBC News.
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