2024 United Kingdom local elections

← 2023 2 May 2024 2025 →

2,655 councillors in England
107 local councils in England
All members of the London Assembly
11 directly elected mayors in England
33 PCCs in England
4 PCCs in Wales
  Keir Starmer Ed Davey
Leader Keir Starmer Ed Davey
Party Labour Liberal Democrats
Leader since 4 April 2020 27 August 2020 [n 1]
Last election 973 418
Percentage[n 2] 34% 17%
Swing[n 3] Decrease 1% Steady
Councillors 1,158 522
Councillors ± Increase186 Increase 104
Councils 51 12
Councils ± Increase8 Increase 2

  Rishi Sunak Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay
Leader Rishi Sunak Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay
Party Conservative Green
Leader since 24 October 2022 1 October 2021
Last election 989 107
Percentage[n 2] 25%
Swing[n 3] Decrease 1%
Councillors 515 181
Councillors ± Decrease 474 Increase 74
Councils 6 0
Councils ± Decrease 10 Steady

The 2024 United Kingdom local elections took place on 2 May 2024 to choose around 2,600 councillors on 107 councils in England, 11 directly elected mayors in England, the 25 members of the London Assembly, and 37 police and crime commissioners in England and Wales. The 2024 Blackpool South parliamentary by-election was held on the same day.[2]

The results were a strong showing for the Labour Party, who finished first on the expense of the Conservative Party, who finished third. The Liberal Democrats finished second for the first time since 2009.[3]

It returned to its usual four-year cycle, after the majority of these elections were last held in the 2021 local elections, delayed by a year from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Background

Significance of these elections

When local elections were held in 2021 the Conservative Party made gains, mainly at the expense of the Labour Party. Since then the Conservative Party has had several high-profile political scandals and crises and has seen a decrease in their popularity in opinion polling. This was reflected in the poor results for the Conservative Party at both the 2022 and 2023 local elections. As a result of the 2023 local elections, Labour became the party with most members elected to local government for the first time since 2002.[4]

These are to be the second set of local elections held under the Elections Act 2022, a controversial voter identification law that requires[5][6] voters to show photo ID when attending a polling station. This act also means that the mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections will use a first-past-the-post voting system rather than the previously used supplementary vote system.

These local elections are to be the last set of routine elections before the next general election. For this reason the results are likely to influence both the date the general election is scheduled for[7] and the election strategies for each party.

Some Conservatives suggested framing the London Mayoral election as a de facto referendum on the ULEZ,[8] which could impact parties' attitudes towards environmental policy.

In late 2023 Labour suggested persistently high interest rates were going to cause a surge in mortgage costs affecting 630,000 homeowners who would re-mortgage between then and the local elections in May. They described the situation as a "financial time-bomb" and implied this would influence the electorate in the elections.[9]

Lord Hayward suggested that community activists and smaller parties may drain support away from the three main parties due to the directions of those parties and because the Liberal Democrats "are no longer the obvious choice for voters disillusioned with the two main parties".[10]

As the elections neared there were suggestions that Rishi Sunak's leadership would be challenged if the results went poorly for his party, particularly if the Conservatives lost either the West Midlands or Tees Valley mayoralties.[11] Sunak quickly sought to insist to his own MPs that he would still be the Prime Minister after these elections, even if the results were poor for his party.[12][13]

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden insisted that this year's elections would be safe from cyber attacks whilst discussing Chinese state-linked hacking.[14]

Predictions

In March 2024 The Observer reported that the Conservative Party was expected to lose half its seats at this election, explaining that most of these seats were won at the peak of the "vaccine bounce".[15] Conservative Party chairman Richard Holden also cited the "vaccine bounce" as a reason to expect these elections to be "much tougher" for his party than the last time they were contested.[16]

In March 2024, Lewis Baston, a political analyst and author, posted that his analysis showed the Conservative Party was due to lose over 50% of their seats which are not changing boundaries. He found that of 613 seats being defended, they would lose 328 based on the swing seen in the 2023 local elections, but would gain eight elsewhere.[17] However, after more work, by 1 April 2024 he said he thought the Conservatives wouldn't lose half their seats because one third of the seats up for election were not last fought in the 2021 local elections, but were actually fought in tougher elections in 2019, 2022, and 2023.[18]

Analysts Michael Thrasher and Colin Rallings also said the Conservative Party was expected to lose half its seats at this election if a similar result to 2023 was repeated. They said the Conservatives would lose around 500 seats while Labour would gain around 300 and the Liberal Democrats and Green Party would both make gains.[19][20]

Sky News' Sam Coates quoted Michael Thrasher's prediction that the Conservatives would lose around 500 seats while Labour would gain around 350, but added that they consider Gloucester Council likely to switch directly from Conservative to Liberal Democrat-controlled.[21]

YouGov conducted an MRP poll from 14-29 April 2024. They said their key findings were that they "expected Labour to make significant gains across the country, but that stories will emerge from specific local authorities which could leave every party with pleasing news". They predicted Labour to gain control of Hyndburn and Milton Keynes councils from no overall control, and to make significant gains in North East Lincolnshire, Peterborough, Thurrock, and Walsall. The Conservatives were expected to make gains in Reigate and Banstead.[22]

Campaign

Aggregate seats contested by party[23]
Party Seats
Conservatives
2,512 / 2,655 (95%)
Labour
2,427 / 2,655 (91%)
Liberal Democrats
1,802 / 2,655 (68%)
Green
1,646 / 2,655 (62%)
Reform UK
323 / 2,655 (12%)

Both Labour and the Conservatives were defending just under 1,000 seats each, the Liberal Democrats about 400 and the Greens just over 100.[24]

Liberal Democrats

On 20 March 2024 the Liberal Democrats launched their local election campaign in Harpenden, Hertfordshire where Ed Davey turned a giant hourglass which revealed the words "Time's running out Rishi!".[25][26] Davey said he was confident of toppling the "Tory Blue Wall in Surrey".[27]

Conservative

On 22 March 2024, Rishi Sunak launched the Conservative's local election campaign by appearing at a bus depot in Heanor, Derbyshire, alongside East Midlands mayoral candidate Ben Bradley.[28][29] Due to "human error" 13 of the 35 Conservative candidates were invalidly nominated for Castle Point Borough Council seats, meaning they would not appear on the ballot.[30]

Labour

On 28 March 2024, Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner launched Labour's campaign for the local elections at an event in Dudley.[31] Starmer's speech mentioned the levelling-up policy of the government in the Black Country.[32]

Green

The Green Party of England and Wales officially launched its national campaign at an event in Bristol on 4 April 2024. Co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay gave speeches at the event with a focus on affordable housing.[33][34]

Results analysis

Analysis by party
Party[35] Councillors Councils
Number Diff. Number Diff.
Labour 1,158 Increase 186 51 Increase 8
No overall control 37 Decrease 1
Liberal Democrats 522 Increase 104 12 Increase 2
Conservative 515 Decrease 474 6 Decrease 10
Independent 226 Increase 91 1 Increase 1
Green 181 Increase 74 0 Steady
Residents 48 Increase 11 0 Steady
Post-election vacancy 24
Workers Party 4 Increase 4 0 Steady
Reform UK 2 Increase 2 0 Steady
SDP[36][n 4] 1 Increase 1 0 Steady
Women's Equality[37][n 4] 1 Increase 1 0 Steady
Projected proportion of aggregate votes
Party BBC[38] Sky News[39]
Diff. from
2023[40] 2021
Labour 34% Decrease 1 Increase 5 35%
Conservative 25% Decrease 1 Decrease 11 26%
Liberal Democrats 17% Decrease 3 Increase 1 16%
Others 24% Increase 5 Increase 6 22%

By party

The Conservatives suffered the worst defeat at a local election by a government since 1996,[41] losing over 450 seats. The Conservatives only retained control of 6 out of the 107 councils; Broxbourne, Solihull, Walsall, Epping Forest, Fareham and Harlow.[42] Their only mayoral success was the re-election of Ben Houchen as Tees Valley Mayor.[43]

Labour won the newly-created mayoralties of East Midlands Combined County Authority and the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority.[44][45] Labour's Richard Parker gained the West Midlands Combined Authority from Andy Street.[46]

The Liberal Democrats gained Tunbridge Wells council[47] and Dorset Council, resulting in the party finishing in second place ahead of the governing Conservative Party.[48] They have added more council seats than any other party over the last parliament, gaining more than 750 in the last five years, largely in southern England.[49]

The Greens had their best ever local election result.[50] However, they were unable to win a majority in Bristol City council, missing a majority of seats by two, while staying the largest party in the council.[51]

The Workers Party of Britain won four seats: two in Rochdale,[52] one in Manchester,[52] and one in Calderdale.[53]

Reform UK underperformed nationally but did win two seats on Havant Borough Council.[54]

The Women's Equality Party won a seat on Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, their first ever borough seat in the UK in their nine-year history.[55]

The Social Democratic Party won their third seat on the Leeds City Council in Middleton Park ward, defeating the sitting Labour councillor.

England

Metropolitan boroughs

There are thirty-six metropolitan boroughs, which are single-tier local authorities. Thirty of them elect a third of their councillors every year for three years, with no election in each fourth year. These councils hold their elections on the same timetable, which includes elections in 2024. Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has held its elections on a four-year cycle from 2016, so is also due to hold an election in 2024.

Due to boundary changes, some other councils which generally elect their councillors in thirds will elect all of their councillors in 2024.

Elections for all councillors

Council Seats Party control Details
Previous Result
Dudley[a] 72 Conservative No overall control Details
North Tyneside[a][56] 60 Labour Labour Details
Rotherham 59 Labour Labour Details
All 3 councils 191

Elections for one third of councillors

By-elections or uncontested wards can cause the seats up for election to be above or below one third of the council.

Council Seats Party control Details
up of Previous Result
Barnsley 21 63 Labour Labour Details
Bolton 21 60 No overall control (Labour minority) No overall control Details
Bradford 30 90 Labour Labour Details
Bury 17 51 Labour Labour Details
Calderdale 17 51 Labour Labour Details
Coventry 18 54 Labour Labour Details
Gateshead 22 66 Labour Labour Details
Kirklees 23 69 Labour No overall control Details
Knowsley 15 45 Labour Labour Details
Leeds 33 99 Labour Labour Details
Manchester 33 96 Labour Labour Details
Newcastle upon Tyne 27 78 Labour Labour Details
Oldham 20 60 Labour No overall control Details
Rochdale 20 60 Labour Labour Details
Salford 21 60 Labour Labour Details
Sandwell 24 72 Labour Labour Details
Sefton 22 66 Labour Labour Details
Sheffield 29 84 No overall control No overall control Details
Solihull 17 51 Conservative Conservative Details
South Tyneside 18 54 Labour Labour Details
Stockport 21 63 No overall control No overall control Details
Sunderland 25 75 Labour Labour Details
Tameside 19 57 Labour Labour Details
Trafford 21 63 Labour Labour Details
Wakefield 22 63 Labour Labour Details
Walsall 20 60 Conservative Conservative Details
Wigan 25 75 Labour Labour Details
Wolverhampton 20 60 Labour Labour Details
All 28 councils 621 1845

Unitary authorities

There are sixty-two unitary authorities, which are single-tier local authorities. Fifteen of them elect a third of their councillors every year for three years, with no election in each fourth year. These councils hold their elections on the same timetable, which includes elections in 2024. Two unitary authorities hold all-out elections on a four-year cycle that includes 2024, and the recently-established Dorset Council held its first election in 2019, with its next election in 2024 and subsequent elections every four years from 2029.

Elections for all councillors

Council Seats Party control Details
Previous Result
Bristol 70 No overall control (Labour minority) No overall control Details
Dorset 82 Conservative Liberal Democrats Details
Warrington 58 Labour Labour Details
Wokingham[a] 54 No overall control No overall control Details
All 4 councils 264

Elections for one third of councillors

Council Seats Party control Details
up of Previous Result
Blackburn with Darwen 17 51 Labour Labour Details
Halton 18 54 Labour Labour Details
Hartlepool 12 36 No overall control Labour Details
Hull 19 57 Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats Details
Milton Keynes 19 57 No overall control Labour Details
North East Lincolnshire 12 42 Conservative No overall control Details
Peterborough 23 60 No overall control No overall control Details
Plymouth 19 57 Labour Labour Details
Portsmouth 14 42 No overall control No overall control Details
Reading 16 48 Labour Labour Details
Southampton 17 51 Labour Labour Details
Southend-on-Sea 17 51 No overall control No overall control Details
Swindon 20 57 Labour Labour Details
Thurrock 16 49 No overall control Labour Details
All 14 councils 218 657

District councils

There are 164 district councils, which are the lower tier local authorities in a two-tier system, with county councils above them. Forty-eight elect their councillors in thirds and seven elect their councillors in halves. Three district councils elect all their councillors on a four-year cycle that includes 2024, with North Hertfordshire changing from the thirds system for the first time. Due to boundary changes, some other councils which usually elect their councillors in thirds or halves will elect all of their councillors in 2024.

Elections for all councillors

Council Seats Party control Details
Previous Result
Basildon[a] 42 Conservative No overall control Details
Brentwood[a] 39 No overall control No overall control Details
Cannock Chase[a] 36 No overall control Labour Details
Castle Point[a] 39 No overall control PIP Details
Cheltenham[a] 40 Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats Details
Epping Forest[a] 54 Conservative Conservative Details
Fareham[a] 32 Conservative Conservative Details
Gloucester 39 Conservative No overall control Details
Harlow[a] 33 Conservative Conservative Details
Havant[a] 36 Conservative No overall control Details
Maidstone[a] 49 No overall control No overall control Details
North Hertfordshire[a] 51 No overall control No overall control Details
Nuneaton and Bedworth[a] 38 Conservative Labour Details
Redditch[a] 27 Conservative Labour Details
Rossendale[a] 30 Labour Labour Details
Stevenage[a] 39 Labour Labour Details
Stroud 51 No overall control No overall control Details
Tandridge[a] 43 No overall control No overall control Details
Tunbridge Wells[a] 39 No overall control Liberal Democrats Details
Worcester[a] 35 No overall control No overall control Details
All 19 councils 792

Elections for half of councillors

Council Seats Party control Details
up of Previous Result
Adur 16 29 Conservative Labour Details
Gosport 15 28 Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats Details
Hastings 16 32 No overall control No overall control Details
Oxford 25 48 No overall control No overall control Details
All 4 councils 72 137

Elections for one third of councillors

Council Seats Party control Details
up of Previous Result
Basingstoke and Deane 18 54 No overall control No overall control Details
Broxbourne 10 30 Conservative Conservative Details
Burnley 15 45 No overall control No overall control Details
Cambridge 14 42 Labour Labour Details
Cherwell 16 48 No overall control No overall control Details
Chorley 14 42 Labour Labour Details
Colchester 18 51 No overall control No overall control Details
Crawley 12 36 Labour Labour Details
Eastleigh 13 39 Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats Details
Elmbridge 16 48 No overall control No overall control Details
Exeter 13 39 Labour Labour Details
Hart 12 33 No overall control No overall control Details
Hyndburn 12 35 No overall control Labour Details
Ipswich 18 48 Labour Labour Details
Lincoln 11 33 Labour Labour Details
Mole Valley 14 39 Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats Details
Norwich 13 39 No overall control No overall control Details
Pendle 12 33 No overall control No overall control Details
Preston 16 48 Labour Labour Details
Reigate and Banstead 16 45 No overall control No overall control Details
Rochford 13 39 No overall control No overall control Details
Rugby 14 42 No overall control No overall control Details
Runnymede 14 41 No overall control No overall control Details
Rushmoor 13 39 Conservative Labour Details
St Albans 21 56 Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats Details
Tamworth 10 30 No overall control Labour Details
Three Rivers 13 39 Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats Details
Watford 12 36 Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats Details
Welwyn Hatfield 16 48 No overall control No overall control Details
West Lancashire 16 45 Labour Labour Details
West Oxfordshire 17 49 No overall control No overall control Details
Winchester 14 45 Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats Details
Woking 11 30 Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats Details
Worthing 13 37 Labour Labour Details
All 35 councils 480 1403

London Assembly

Main article: 2024 London Assembly election

Mayoral and council leader elections

Mayor of London

Main article: 2024 London mayoral election

Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan was re-elected for a third four-year term, with 43.8% of the vote.[57]

Combined authority mayors

Nine combined authority mayors were be up for election. Labour won eight of the mayoral elections, including gaining the West Midlands mayoralty from the Conservatives. The Conservatives held Tees Valley.

Combined authority Previous mayor Elected mayor Details
East Midlands New position Claire Ward (Labour Co-op) Details
Greater Manchester Andy Burnham (Labour Co-op) Andy Burnham (Labour Co-op) Details
Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram (Lab) Steve Rotheram (Lab) Details
North East New position[b] Kim McGuinness (Labour Co-op) Details
South Yorkshire[58] Oliver Coppard (Labour Co-op) Oliver Coppard (Labour Co-op) Details
Tees Valley Ben Houchen (Con) Ben Houchen (Con) Details
West Midlands Andy Street (Con) Richard Parker (Labour Co-op) Details
West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin (Labour Co-op) Tracy Brabin (Labour Co-op) Details
York and North Yorkshire[59] New position David Skaith (Labour Co-op) Details

Single-authority mayors

One single-authority mayor was up for election.

Local authority Previous mayor Elected mayor Details
Salford Paul Dennett (Lab) Paul Dennett (Lab) Details

Police and crime commissioner elections

Main article: 2024 England and Wales police and crime commissioner elections

All Police and Crime Commissioners (or Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner) in England were up for election. Labour gained ten commissioner positions from the Conservatives.

Constabulary Previous PCC Elected PCC Details
Avon and Somerset Police Mark Shelford (Con) Clare Moody (Lab) Details
Bedfordshire Police Festus Akinbusoye (Con) John Tizard (Lab) Details
Cambridgeshire Constabulary Darryl Preston (Con) Darryl Preston (Con) Details
Cheshire Constabulary John Dwyer (Con) Dan Price (Lab) Details
Cleveland Police Steve Turner (Con) Matt Storey (Lab) Details
Cumbria Constabulary Peter McCall (Con) David Allen (Lab) Details
Derbyshire Constabulary Angelique Foster (Con) Nicolle Ndiweni (Lab) Details
Devon and Cornwall Police Alison Hernandez (Con) Alison Hernandez (Con) Details
Dorset Police David Sidwick (Con) David Sidwick (Con) Details
Durham Constabulary Joy Allen (Lab) Joy Allen (Lab) Details
Essex Police Roger Hirst (Con) Roger Hirst (Con) Details
Gloucestershire Constabulary Chris Nelson (Con) Chris Nelson (Con) Details
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary Donna Jones (Con) Donna Jones (Con) Details
Hertfordshire Constabulary David Lloyd (Con) Jonathan Ash-Edwards (Con) Details
Humberside Police Jonathan Evison (Con) Jonathan Evison (Con) Details
Kent Police Matthew Scott (Con) Matthew Scott (Con) Details
Lancashire Constabulary Andrew Snowden (Con) Clive Grunshaw (Lab) Details
Leicestershire Police Rupert Matthews (Con) Rupert Matthews (Con) Details
Lincolnshire Police Marc Jones (Con) Marc Jones (Con) Details
Merseyside Police Emily Spurrell (Lab) Emily Spurrell (Lab) Details
Norfolk Constabulary Giles Orpen-Smellie (Con) Sarah Taylor (Lab) Details
Northamptonshire Police Stephen Mold (Con) Danielle Stone (Lab) Details
Northumbria Police Kim McGuinness (Lab) Susan Dungworth (Lab) Details
Nottinghamshire Police Caroline Henry (Con) Gary Godden (Lab) Details
Staffordshire Police Ben Adams (Con) Ben Adams (Con) Details
Suffolk Constabulary Tim Passmore (Con) Tim Passmore (Con) Details
Surrey Police Lisa Townsend (Con) Lisa Townsend (Con) Details
Sussex Police Katy Bourne (Con) Katy Bourne (Con) Details
Thames Valley Police Matthew Barber (Con) Matthew Barber (Con) Details
Warwickshire Police Philip Seccombe (Con) Philip Seccombe (Con) Details
West Mercia Police John Campion (Con) John Campion (Con) Details
West Midlands Police Simon Foster (Lab) Simon Foster (Lab) Details
Wiltshire Police Phillip Wilkinson (Con) Phillip Wilkinson (Con) Details

Wales

Police and crime commissioner elections

All four police and crime commissioners in Wales were up for election, to represent the four police force areas of Dyfed-Powys, Gwent, North Wales and South Wales. All positions were held by the incumbent parties.

Constabulary Previous PCC Elected PCC Details
Dyfed-Powys Police Dafydd Llywelyn (Plaid Cymru) Dafydd Llywelyn (Plaid Cymru) Details
Gwent Police Jeffrey Cuthbert (Lab) Jane Mudd (Lab) Details
North Wales Police Andy Dunbobbin (Lab) Andy Dunbobbin (Lab) Details
South Wales Police Alun Michael (Labour Co-op) Emma Wools (Labour Co-op) Details

Notes

  1. ^ Davey served as Acting Leader from 13 December 2019 to 27 August 2020 alongside the Party Presidents Baroness Brinton and Mark Pack, following Jo Swinson's election defeat in the 2019 general election. Davey was elected Leader in August 2020.[1]
  2. ^ All vote shares in the infobox are projected national vote shares calculated by the BBC.
  3. ^ Swing figures are between the BBC national projected vote share extrapolation from 2023 local elections, and the BBC equivalent vote share projection from these local elections held in different areas.
  4. ^ a b The BBC includes the SDP and the WEP in the Independents tally
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u New electoral boundaries
  2. ^ The North East Mayoral Combined Authority will replace both the non-mayoral North East Combined Authority and the North of Tyne Combined Authority, whose incumbent mayor is Jamie Driscoll

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