One third of Leeds City Council in the City of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England is elected each year, followed by no election in one year out of every four years. A total of 99 councillors have been elected from 33 electoral wards across Leeds since 1980.[1]

Political control

Seat totals, 1973–2012
Seat totals, 1973–2012

From 1889 until 1974 Leeds was a county borough, independent from any county council. Under the Local Government Act 1972 it had its territory enlarged and became a metropolitan borough, with West Yorkshire County Council providing county-level services. The first election to the reconstituted city council was held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority before coming into its revised powers on 1 April 1974. West Yorkshire County Council was abolished in 1986 and Leeds became a unitary authority. Political control of the council since 1973 has been held by the following parties:[2][3]

Party in control Years
No overall control (Labour minority) 1973–1976
Conservative 1976–1979
No overall control (Conservative minority) 1979–1980
Labour 1980–2004
No overall control (Lib Dem-Conservative coalition) 2004–2010
No overall control (Labour minority) 2010–2011
Labour 2011–present

Leadership

The first leader of the reformed council in 1974, Albert King, had been the last leader of the old county borough of Leeds. The leaders of the council since 1974 have been:[4]

Councillor Party From To
Albert King Labour 1974 1975
Irwin Bellow Conservative 1975 1979
Peter Sparling Conservative 1979 1980
George Mudie Labour 1980 1989
Jon Trickett Labour 1989 1996
Brian Walker Labour 1996 2003
Keith Wakefield Labour May 2003 28 Jun 2004
Mark Harris Liberal Democrats 28 Jun 2004 30 Nov 2004
Andrew Carter Conservative 1 Dec 2004 23 May 2005
Mark Harris Liberal Democrats 24 May 2005 30 Nov 2005
Andrew Carter Conservative 1 Dec 2005 22 May 2006
Mark Harris Liberal Democrats 23 May 2006 30 Nov 2006
Andrew Carter Conservative 1 Dec 2006 21 May 2007
Mark Harris Liberal Democrats 24 May 2007 30 Nov 2007
Andrew Carter Conservative 1 Dec 2007 22 May 2008
Richard Brett Liberal Democrats 22 May 2008 30 Nov 2008
Andrew Carter Conservative 1 Dec 2008 21 May 2009
Richard Brett Liberal Democrats 21 May 2009 30 Nov 2009
Andrew Carter Conservative 1 Dec 2009 27 May 2010
Keith Wakefield Labour 27 May 2010 21 May 2015
Judith Blake Labour 21 May 2015 24 Feb 2021
James Lewis Labour 24 Feb 2021

From 2004 until 2010 a coalition agreement between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats saw the leadership alternate every six months between their party leaders.

Council elections

Summary of the council composition after council elections, click on the year for full details of each election. Boundary changes took place for the 1980 election which increased the number of seats by 3, leading to the whole council being elected in that year. Further boundary changes made in 2004 again required the full council to be elected.[5]

Popular vote shares, 1973–2012
Popular vote shares, 1973–2012
Popular vote figures, 1973–2012
Popular vote figures, 1973–2012


Year Labour Conservative Liberal Democrats Independent Greens Morley Borough Independents BNP
1973 44 38 14 0 0 0 0
1975 41 43 12 0 0 0 0
1976 38 50 8 0 0 0 0
1978 39 50 7 0 0 0 0
1979 44 45 7 0 0 0 0
1980 62 29 8 0 0 0 0
1982 56 32 11 0 0 0 0
1983 54 33 11 1 0 0 0
1984 53 33 12 1 0 0 0
1986 58 28 11 2 0 0 0
1987 58 25 14 2 0 0 0
1988 59 25 14 1 0 0 0
1990 66 21 11 1 0 0 0
1991 68 21 9 1 0 0 0
1992 67 23 8 1 0 0 0
1994 67 23 8 1 0 0 0
1995 75 15 8 1 0 0 0
1996 83 8 8 0 0 0 0
1998 80 9 9 0 1 0 0
1999 71 12 14 1 1 0 0
2000 61 16 19 1 2 0 0
2002 57 18 20 1 3 0 0
2003 52 22 20 2 3 0 0
2004 40 24 26 0 3 6 0
2006 40 24 26 0 3 5 1
2007 43 22 24 1 3 5 1
2008 43 22 24 1 3 5 1
2010 48 22 21 0 2 6 0
2011 55 21 16 0 2 5 0
2012 63 19 10 0 2 5 0
2014 63 18 9 1 3 5 0
2015 63 19 9 0 3 5 0
2016 63 19 9 0 3 5 0
2018 61 22 6 3 2 5 0
2019 57 23 8 3 3 5 0

Borough result maps

By-election results

Following the death, removal or resignation of an incumbent councillor between council elections, by-elections occur to elect a successor to fill the vacant council seat. The most recent by-election took place on 12 December 2019 after the death of incumbent Wetherby ward councillor, Gerald Wilkinson, in October 2019.[6][7]

Ward by-election Date Incumbent party Winning party
Headingley by-election 28 February 1974 Conservative Conservative
Burley by-election 21 November 1974 Conservative Labour
Burley by-election 8 January 1975 Labour Labour
Beeston by-election 27 September 1984 Labour Labour
Aireborough by-election 18 August 1986 Conservative Alliance
Armley by-election 8 December 1988 SLD Labour
Burmantofts by-election 15 June 1989 SLD Labour
Morley North by-election Labour Labour
City & Holbeck by-election 30 November 1989 Labour Labour
Wetherby by-election 23 July 1992 Conservative Conservative
Richmond Hill by-election 26 October 1995 Labour Labour
Beeston by-election 14 November 1996 Labour Labour
Headingley by-election 10 July 1997 Labour Labour
Whinmoor by-election 21 August 1997 Labour Labour
Bramley by-election 6 August 1998 Labour Liberal Democrats
Harehills by-election 13 April 2000 Labour Liberal Democrats
Morley North by-election 7 June 2001 Labour Labour
University by-election Labour Labour
Moortown by-election 19 July 2001 Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats
Headingley by-election 28 July 2005 Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats
Farnley & Wortley by-election 18 September 2008 Green Green
Temple Newsam by-election 2 April 2009 Labour Conservative
Hyde Park & Woodhouse by-election 18 February 2010 Liberal Democrats Labour
Guiseley & Rawdon by-election 14 October 2010 Conservative Conservative
Cross Gates & Whinmoor by-election 2 May 2013 Labour Labour
Wetherby by-election 12 December 2019 Conservative Conservative

References

  1. ^ "Councillors' roles and responsibilities". Leeds City Council. Archived from the original on 19 February 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  2. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  3. ^ "Leeds". BBC News Online. 19 April 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  4. ^ "Council minutes". Leeds City Council. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  5. ^ "Leeds council". BBC Online. Retrieved 24 September 2008.
  6. ^ "Councillor Gerald Wilkinson". democracy.leeds.gov.uk. Leeds City Council. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Wetherby councillor dies after short illness". wetherbynews.co.uk. Wetherby News. Retrieved 4 November 2019.