1978 Merton London Borough Council election
← 1974 4 May 1978 1982 →

All 57 council seats on
Merton London Borough Council
  First party Second party Third party
Party Conservative Labour Longthornton and Tamworth Residents
Last election 33 seats[n 1] 27 seats[n 2] 3 seats
Seats won 39 15 3
Seat change Increase6 Decrease12 Steady
Popular vote 85,773 56,501 5,336
Percentage 52.6% 34.7% 3.9%

Council leader before election

Allan Jones

Council leader after election

Allan Jones

Elections for the London Borough of Merton were held on 4 May 1978 to elect members of Merton London Borough Council in London, England. This was on the same day as other local elections in England and Scotland.[1]

The whole council was up for election and the incumbent majority Conservative administration maintained its overall control of the council.[1] This was the first election held in which no aldermen were elected onto the council.[2] Boundary changes also meant that the number of elected seats increased by 3.[1]


See also: Merton London Borough Council elections § 1974-1978

At the last election, the Conservatives had won a majority of three seats on the council, with twenty-nine elected members and four aldermen.[2] They subsequently gained a seat from the Labour Party in a by-election in the ward of Wimbledon South on 19 September 1974 and then lost a seat to the Liberal Party in the ward of Cannon Hill on 30 October 1975.[1]

Prior to the election, elected councillors appointed nine aldermen to serve on Merton London Borough Council. This was the first election in which this arrangement ended,[2] as was required by the Local Government Act 1972, which rendered the post merely an honorary title.[1]

The Conservatives did not stand in the newly-created ward of Longthornton, leaving the three-member ward as a two-way contest between the Labour Party and the Longthornton and Tamworth Residents Association.[1]


The Conservatives maintained their overall majority control of the council, increasing their majority to 21 seats.[2]

Merton Local Election Result 1978[1][n 3]
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Conservative 39 n/a n/a Increase6 68.4% 52.6% 85,773
  Labour 15 n/a n/a Decrease12 26.3% 34.7% 56,501
  Longthornton and Tamworth Residents 3 n/a n/a Steady 5.3% 3.9% 6,336
  Liberal 0 n/a n/a 0 0% 8.3% 13,532
  National Front 0 n/a n/a 0 0% 0.3% 457
  Independent 0 n/a n/a 0 0% 0.2% 272
  Workers Revolutionary 0 n/a n/a 0 0% 0.0% 74

Notes and references


  1. ^ In the 1974 election, 4 Conservative aldermen and 29 Conservative councillors were elected, giving the Conservative Party a total of 33 seats.
  2. ^ In the 1974 election, 5 Labour aldermen and 22 Labour councillors were elected, giving the Labour Party a total of 27 seats.
  3. ^ The Independent vote count includes one candidate who stood under the description of "Theatrical Agent" in Village, winning 169 votes.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "London Borough Council Elections 4 May 1978" (PDF). Greater London Council. 1978. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "London Borough of Merton Results Summary 1964-2012" (PDF). Merton Electoral Services. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2018.