2017 Welsh local elections
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All 1,254 seats to 22 Welsh councils
  First party Second party
Leader Carwyn Jones Leanne Wood
Party Labour Plaid Cymru
Last election 580 seats, 34.9%[1] 170 seats, 16.1%
Seats won 468 208
Seat change Decrease112 Increase38
Popular vote 294,989 160,519
Percentage 30.4% 16.5%
Swing Decrease4.5% Increase0.5%

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Andrew RT Davies Mark Williams
Party Conservative Liberal Democrats
Last election 105 seats, 12.5% 73 seats, 8.0%
Seats won 184 63
Seat change Increase79 Decrease10
Popular vote 182,520 66,022
Percentage 18.8% 6.8%
Swing Increase6.3% Decrease1.2%

Colours denote the winning party with outright control (left), and the largest party by ward (right)

The 2017 Welsh local elections were held on 4 May 2017 to elect members of all 22 local authorities in Wales. This included the Isle of Anglesey, which was previously up for election in 2013 due to having its elections delayed for a year. Community council elections also took place on the same day. These local elections were held as part of the 2017 local elections in the United Kingdom. Apart from Anglesey, the last elections were held in 2012. Normally these elections take place every four years, but the 2017 elections were postponed for a year in order to avoid clashing with the 2016 Welsh Assembly election, which itself had been postponed by a year to avoid clashing with the 2015 general election.

Welsh Labour incurred a net loss of 112 council seats, losing control of the Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil and Bridgend councils. Labour did, however, retain control of Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, and five other councils. The Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru saw a net gain of 38 seats and retained control of Gwynedd Council, while also falling just short of controlling Carmarthenshire County Council. The Welsh Conservatives saw a net gain of 79 seats, and gained control of one council, Monmouthshire. The Conservatives also became the largest party in Vale of Glamorgan and Denbighshire. In ten of the 22 councils, no party had overall control of the council.


In the last local elections in Wales in 2012 (including a delayed election for the Isle of Anglesey County Council in 2013), 1,265 councillors were elected across Wales. The Labour Party won 580, independents won 307, Plaid Cymru won 170, the Conservatives won 105 and the Liberal Democrats won 73. Other parties, including the UK Independence Party, won 30 seats.[2] Ahead of the 2017 elections, Labour were defending 536 seats and control of ten of the twenty-two Welsh local authorities.[3] Plaid Cymru was defending 177 seats, and the Conservatives was defending 103 seats.[4] The Liberal Democrats were defending 75 seats, having "made a net gain of three council seats as a result of by-elections and defections" since 2012.[5][6] The Wales Green Party was defending a single seat.[6]

Labour had suffered defections among its Welsh councilors prior to the 2017 elections. In September 2014, ten Labour councillors on the Wrexham County Borough Council left the Labour Party and quit the Labour council group.[7] In August 2016, the councilor for Splott, Cardiff left Labour.[8] In November 2016, Labour lost two of its Cardiff councillors in two days, with the Llandaff North councillor resigning from the council because of a "culture of bullying" and the Adamsdown councillor leaving the Labour group to sit as an independent after he was not re-selected to run in 2017.[9] In 2015, control of Carmarthenshire Council was lost to a Plaid Cymru led coalition,[10] whilst in 2016 the party also lost control of Maesteg Town Council for the first time since it was created in 1974 after the de-selection of several Bridgend Labour county councillors.[11]

A total of 1,159 seats were up for election in the 2017 Welsh local elections.[3] Labour fielded 910 candidates, the Conservatives 621 candidates, Plaid Cymru 549 candidates, the Liberal Democrats 280 candidates, UKIP 80 candidates, and the Greens 78 candidates.[4][6] Additionally, more than 870 people ran as independent or candidates for other parties.[6] 10.4% of wards were uncontested with almost a hundred candidates running unopposed.[3][12] In one ward, Yscir in Powys, no candidate filed to run.[3][13][14] The election for that ward was deferred until the 21 June 2017, when it was won by the Conservatives.[15] Elections in the wards in Cyfarthfa, Merthyr Tydfil and Llandyfriog, Ceredigion were postponed following the deaths of local candidates.[3]

Eligibility to vote

All registered electors (British, Irish, Commonwealth and European Union citizens) who are aged 18 or over on polling day are entitled to vote in the local elections.[16] A person who has two homes (such as a university student who has a term-time address and lives at home during holidays) can register to vote at both addresses as long as they are not in the same electoral area, and can vote in the local elections for the two different local councils.[17]

Individuals had to be registered to vote by midnight twelve working days before polling day (13 April 2017).[18] Anyone who qualifies as an anonymous elector had until midnight on 25 April 2017 to register.[19]

The 2017 Welsh local elections were to be the last local elections to be held before widespread changes by the Welsh Government under the Local Government & Elections (Wales) Bill. The Bill extends voting rights to 16 and 17 year olds and foreign citizens living in Wales, and makes it easier to register voters for future local elections. Around 1,900 prisoners would also be eligible to vote for the first time.[20][21]

Wales-wide results

Party Votes[2] % +/- Councils +/- Seats +/-
Labour 294,989 30.4% Decrease4.5% 7 Decrease3 468 Decrease112
Independent 218,817 22.5% Decrease1.3% 3 Increase1 309 Increase2
Conservative 182,520 18.8% Increase6.3% 1 Increase1 184 Increase79
Plaid Cymru 160,519 16.5% Increase0.5% 1 Increase1 208 Increase38
Liberal Democrats 66,022 6.8% Decrease1.2% 0 Steady 63 Decrease10
Green 12,441 1.3% Increase0.2% 0 Steady 1 Increase1
UKIP 11,006 1.1% Increase0.3% 0 Steady 0 Decrease2
Other 24,594 2.5% Decrease0.3% 0 Steady 21 Decrease7
No overall control n/a n/a n/a 10 Increase1 n/a n/a

For comparative purposes, the table above shows changes since 2012 including Anglesey's council, which was last elected in 2013.

The Labour Party had a net loss of 112 council seats, and also lost control of the Blaenau Gwent and Bridgend councils. Labour did, however, retain control of Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, and five other councils. The Welsh nationalist Plaid Cymru had a net gain of 38 seats and won control of the Gwynedd Council (the council had shifted to Plaid control in June 2012, and is counted in the table above as a 'gain'); it also fell just short of controlling the Carmarthenshire County Council. The Conservatives had a net gain of 79 seats, and won control of one council, Monmouthshire; the Conservatives also became the largest party in Vale of Glamorgan and Denbighshire. The Wales Green Party won their first county council seat in Powys. In ten of the 22 councils, no party had overall control of the council.[22]

Principal councils

Council Seats Previous control Result Details
Isle of Anglesey 30 No overall control No overall control Details
Blaenau Gwent 42 Labour Independent Details
Bridgend 54 Labour No overall control (Labour minority)[23] Details
Caerphilly 73 Labour Labour Details
Cardiff 75 Labour Labour Details
Carmarthenshire 74 No overall control No overall control (Plaid/Independent coalition)[24] Details
Ceredigion 42 No overall control No overall control (Plaid/Independent coalition)[25] Details
Conwy 59 No overall control
(Plaid Cymru/Labour/LibDem/Independent coalition) †
No overall control (Independent/Conservative coalition with LibDem support) [26][27][28] Details
Denbighshire 47 No overall control
(Plaid Cymru/Independent/Conservative coalition) ‡
No overall control
(Independent/Conservative coalition)
Flintshire 70 No overall control No overall control (Labour minority) [29] Details
Gwynedd 75 Plaid Cymru†† Plaid Cymru Details
Merthyr Tydfil 33 Labour Independent Details
Monmouthshire 43 No overall control Conservative Details
Neath Port Talbot 64 Labour Labour Details
Newport 50 Labour Labour Details
Pembrokeshire 60 Independent Independent Details
Powys 73 Independent No overall control (Independent/Conservative coalition)[30] Details
Rhondda Cynon Taff 75 Labour Labour Details
Swansea 72 Labour Labour Details
Torfaen 44 Labour Labour Details
Vale of Glamorgan 47 No overall control (Labour/Llantwit coalition) No overall control (Conservative/Independent coalition)[31][32] Details
Wrexham 52 No overall control No overall control (Independent/Conservative coalition) [33][34] Details
Total 1,271

† In 2014, the only Welsh Liberal Democrat cabinet member defected to Welsh Labour, meaning the Lib Dems were no longer part of the coalition.[35] In 2015, several Independent councillors created their own group within the council called Conwy First. This group later on went to support the council instead of the remaining five independent councillors, meaning the current coalition is made up of Plaid Cymru, Welsh Labour and Conwy First.[36]

‡ The Welsh Liberal Democrats have since lost its only seat on the Council, therefore leaving the coalition.[37][38]

†† Plaid Cymru at the original election won exactly half the seats available, they took control of the council by winning the final seat in a delayed election in June 2012.[39]

Community & town councils

Elections were held for around 8,000 seats on over 730 community and town councils across Wales.[40]

The 2017 Local Government Elections data revealed that over 64% of community council seats in Wales were elected uncontested. Only two Principal Council areas had over 50% contested seats. Bridgend had the lowest amount of uncontested seats, with 28%. In comparison, Cardiff had the highest amount of uncontested seats with 74%.[41]

Over half (55 per cent) of community councillors were aged 60 or above. 1.2 per cent of community councillors were non-white and around 65 per cent of candidates were male. 15 per cent considered themselves to have a disability. Ahead of the 2022 elections, the Welsh Government established an 'Independent Review Panel on Community and Town Councils' which in October 2018 made a series of recommendations to improve future candidate diversity and address the large number of uncontested seats.[41]

Opinion polling

Polling organisation/client Sample size Lab PC Con LDem Green UKIP Others Lead
4 May 2017 2017 Election Results 970,908 30.4% 16.5% 18.8% 6.8% 1.3% 1.1% 25.1% 11.6%
19-21 Apr 2017 YouGov 1,029 28% 19% 26% 7% NA 8% 12% 2%
3 May 2012 2012 Election Results 853,593 34.9% 16.1% 12.5% 8.0% 1.2% 0.3% 27% 20.2%

NA = Not asked.


  1. ^ Note that these results also include results from the 2013 Isle of Anglesey County Council election, and so will not match up precisely with the results of the 2012 Welsh local elections
  2. ^ a b "Year Tables". 19 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e Wales' Local elections: Labour leader ousted in Merthyr, BBC News (May 4, 2017).
  4. ^ a b 'Theresa May candidates' in Wales (11:10pm): Live Local elections 2017 results: Labour braced for heavy losses as Conservatives sweep up Ukip seats, Telegraph (May 4, 2017).
  5. ^ Lib Dems attack 'arrogance and laziness' of councils, BBC News (April 12, 2017).
  6. ^ a b c d Last local election campaigning before polling day, BBC News (May 3, 2017).
  7. ^ Ten Wrexham Labour councillors quit group and party, BBC News (September 3, 2014).
  8. ^ Ruth Mosalski, A Cardiff councillor has defected from Labour saying the party has a 'culture of bullying and harassment', Wales Online (August 2, 2016).
  9. ^ Two Cardiff councillors quit Labour group in two days, BBC News (November 30, 2016).
  10. ^ "New coalition takes over Carmarthenshire council". BBC News. 13 May 2015.
  11. ^ Servini, Nick (17 November 2016). "Infighting costs Labour town council". BBC News.
  12. ^ Hicks, Edward (30 April 2019). "Uncontested elections: Where and why do they take place?" – via commonslibrary.parliament.uk. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  13. ^ Twm Owen, No candidate for seat on Powys council, ITV News (April 5, 2017).
  14. ^ The council seat no-one wants to represent, Brecon & Radnor Express (April 5, 2017).
  15. ^ "Tory wins Yscir by-election where no-one stood at May poll". BBC News. 23 June 2017. Archived from the original on 12 September 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Representation of the People Act 1983, Section 2". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  17. ^ Electoral Commission. "I have two homes. Can I register at both addresses?". electoralcommission.org.uk. The Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 15 November 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  18. ^ "Timetable for local elections in England and Wales: 4 May 2017". The Electoral Commission. Archived from the original (doc) on 24 April 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  19. ^ The deadline for the receipt and determination of anonymous electoral registration applications is one working day before the publication date of the notice of alteration to the Electoral Register (that is the sixth working day before polling day). cf "Guidance for Electoral Registration Officers (Part 4 – Maintaining the register throughout the year)" (PDF). Cabinet Office and The Electoral Commission. July 2016. p. 114 (para 7.128). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 April 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  20. ^ "Prisoners to vote in assembly and council polls". BBC News. 25 September 2019.
  21. ^ Steven Morris (18 November 2019) "Welsh bill would allow 16- and 17-year olds to vote in local elections", theguardian.com. Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  22. ^ Wales' local elections 2017 results, BBC News (May 4, 2017).
  23. ^ Bolter, Abby (18 May 2017). "Labour takes top positions on Bridgend council once again". walesonline.
  24. ^ "Carmarthenshire Council AGM, a few points". 25 May 2017.
  25. ^ "Tribute paid to candidate as new Ceredigion Council is formed". Tivyside Advertiser.
  26. ^ "New Conwy council leader elected". BBC News. 18 May 2017.
  27. ^ "Plaid Conwy leader seeks Tory deal". BBC News. 2 June 2017.
  28. ^ Davidson, Tom; Brennan, Shane (18 May 2017). "Conwy Council elects new leader". northwales.
  29. ^ "Councillor Aaron Shotton re-elected as Leader of Flintshire County Council". Deeside.com.
  30. ^ Penrose, Naomi. "Leader of Powys County Council announces new cabinet". www.shropshirestar.com.
  31. ^ "Vale council leadership confirmed". Barry And District News.
  32. ^ "Council's all-male cabinet 'new low for diversity'". BBC News. 26 May 2017.
  33. ^ "Wrexham Council's New Executive Board – Opposition Parties React". Wrexham.com.
  34. ^ Bagnall, Steve (17 May 2017). "Independents and Tories set to run Wrexham council". northwales.
  35. ^ David Powell (4 July 2014). "Conwy: Liberal Democrat councillor Mike Priestley defects to Labour". Daily Post. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  36. ^ David Powell (10 March 2016). "Conwy council Independents in disarray over attempt to oust Plaid Cymru leader". Daily Post. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  37. ^ "Denbighshire Labour councillor defends opposition". Denbighshirefreepress.co.uk. 13 June 2012. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  38. ^ "Committee details – Cabinet". Denbighshire County Council. 26 October 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  39. ^ "Bryncrug/Llanfihangel, 2012". Welsh Election blog. Archived from the original on 17 November 2016.
  40. ^ "All About Councils - One Voice Wales". www.onevoicewales.org.uk.
  41. ^ a b "Independent Review Panel on Community and Town Councils in Wales Final Report" (PDF). Welsh Government. October 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2020. Text was copied from this source, which is available under an Open Government Licence v3.0. © Crown copyright.