1974 United Kingdom local elections

← 1973 2 May 1974, 7 May 1974 1975 →

All 32 London boroughs, all 53 Scottish districts and all 12 Scottish regions
  Majority party Minority party Third party
Leader Harold Wilson Edward Heath Jeremy Thorpe
Party Labour Conservative Liberal
Leader since 14 February 1963 27 July 1965 18 January 1967
Councils 18 13
Councillors 10,325 8,102 1,474
Councillors +/- Increase 544 Increase 393 Increase 47

Local elections were held in the United Kingdom in 1974, during the life of the minority Labour government of Harold Wilson. Elections were held in all the boroughs of London.[1][2]

The number of councillors was increased, enabling all of the three largest parties to make net gains in council seats. Labour gained 544 seats and had 10,325 councillors after the elections. The Conservatives gained 393 seats, leaving them with 8,102 councillors. The Liberals gained 47 seats, giving them a total of 1,474 councillors.

In terms of council control in London, Labour won 18 councils, the Conservatives 13. One borough, Havering, was in no overall control, having been a Labour council after the 1971 local elections. The Conservatives gained Bexley and Merton from Labour and Harrow from no overall control.

In Scotland these were the first elections for the new Regional and District councils, with people voting twice. The Scottish National Party did not do particularly well compared with their performance in the two general elections that year. Labour won a majority in Strathclyde and Fife regions.

Summary of results


London boroughs

Main article: 1974 London local elections

Council Previous control Result Details
Barking Labour Labour hold Details
Barnet Conservative Conservative hold Details
Bexley Labour Conservative gain Details
Brent Labour Labour hold Details
Bromley Conservative Conservative hold Details
Camden Labour Labour hold Details
Croydon Conservative Conservative hold Details
Ealing Labour Labour hold Details
Enfield Conservative Conservative hold Details
Greenwich Labour Labour hold Details
Hackney Labour Labour hold Details
Hammersmith Labour Labour hold Details
Haringey Labour Labour hold Details
Harrow No overall control Conservative gain Details
Havering Labour No overall control gain Details
Hillingdon Labour Labour hold Details
Hounslow Labour Labour hold Details
Islington Labour Labour hold Details
Kensington and Chelsea Conservative Conservative hold Details
Kingston upon Thames Conservative Conservative hold Details
Lambeth Labour Labour hold Details
Lewisham Labour Labour hold Details
Merton Labour Conservative gain Details
Newham Labour Labour hold Details
Redbridge Conservative Conservative hold Details
Richmond upon Thames Conservative Conservative hold Details
Southwark Labour Labour hold Details
Sutton Conservative Conservative hold Details
Tower Hamlets Labour Labour hold Details
Waltham Forest Labour Labour hold Details
Wandsworth Labour Labour hold Details
Westminster Conservative Conservative hold Details


Main article: 1974 Scottish local elections

District councils

District Previous control Result Details
Aberdeen, City of New Council Labour Details
Angus New Council Conservative Details
Annandale and Eskdale New Council Independent Details
Argyll New Council Independent Details
Badenoch and Strathspey New Council Independent Details
Banff and Buchan New Council Independent Details
Bearsden and Milngavie New Council No overall control Details
Berwickshire New Council Conservative Details
Bishopbriggs and Kirkintilloch New Council No overall control Details
Caithness New Council Independent Details
Clackmannan New Council No overall control Details
Clydebank New Council Labour Details
Cumbernauld New Council SNP Details
Cumnock and Doon Valley New Council Labour Details
Cunninghame New Council Labour Details
Dumbarton New Council Labour Details
Dundee, City of New Council No overall control Details
Dunfermline New Council Labour Details
East Kilbride New Council No overall control Details
East Lothian New Council Labour Details
Eastwood New Council Conservative Details
Edinburgh, City of New Council No overall control Details
Ettrick and Lauderdale New Council Independent Details
Falkirk New Council No overall control Details
Glasgow, City of New Council Labour Details
Gordon New Council Independent Details
Hamilton New Council Labour Details
Inverclyde New Council Labour Details
Inverness New Council Independent Details
Kilmarnock and Loudoun New Council Labour Details
Kincardine and Deeside New Council Independent Details
Kirkcaldy New Council No overall control Details
Kyle and Carrick New Council Conservative Details
Lanark New Council Independent Details
Lochaber New Council Independent Details
Merrick New Council Independent Details
Midlothian New Council Labour Details
Monklands New Council Labour Details
Moray New Council Independent Details
Motherwell New Council Labour Details
Nairn New Council Independent Details
Nithsdale New Council Independent Details
North East Fife New Council Conservative Details
Perth and Kinross New Council Conservative Details
Renfrew New Council Labour Details
Ross and Cromarty New Council Independent Details
Roxburgh New Council Independent Details
Skye and Lochalsh New Council Independent Details
Stewartry New Council Independent Details
Stirling New Council No overall control Details
Sutherland New Council Independent Details
Tweeddale New Council Independent Details
West Lothian New Council No overall control Details

†Four districts were renamed shortly after the elections. Argyll became Argyll and Bute, Bishopbriggs and Kirkintilloch became Strathkelvin, Cumbernauld became Cumbernauld and Kilsyth and Merrick became Wigtown.

Regional councils

Region or islands area Previous control Result Details
Borders New Council Independent Details
Central New Council Labour Details
Dumfries and Galloway New Council Independent Details
Fife New Council Labour Details
Grampian New Council Conservative Details
Highland New Council Independent Details
Lothian New Council No overall control Details
Orkney New Council Independent Details
Shetland New Council Independent Details
Strathclyde New Council Labour Details
Tayside New Council No overall control Details
Western Isles New Council Independent Details


  1. ^ Rallings, Colin; Thrasher, Michael. Local Elections Handbook 1974. The Elections Centre. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Council compositions". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 3 May 2016.