United Kingdom local elections, 2017

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United Kingdom local elections, 2017
United Kingdom


← 2016 4 May 2017 2018 →

34 English councils
All 32 Scottish councils
All 22 Welsh councils
8 directly elected mayors in England

Theresa May (cropped).png Jeremy Corbyn speaking at the Labour Party General Election Launch 2017 cropped.jpg Tim Farron
Leader Theresa May Jeremy Corbyn Tim Farron
Party Conservative Labour Liberal Democrat
Leader since 13 July 2016 12 September 2015 16 July 2015
Popular vote[n 1] 38% 27% 18%
Swing[n 2] Increase8% Decrease4% Increase3%
Councils 28 9 0
Councils +/– Increase11 Decrease 7 Steady
Councillors 1,899 1,152 441
Councillors +/– Increase563 Decrease382 Decrease42

Nicola Sturgeon Leanne Wood AM (27555056394).jpg
Leader Nicola Sturgeon Leanne Wood
Party SNP Plaid Cymru
Leader since 14 November 2014 16 March 2012
Popular vote[n 1]
Swing[n 2]
Councils 0 1
Councils +/– Decrease1 Steady
Councillors 431 202
Councillors +/– Decrease 7[1] Increase33

2017 UK local elections - Ward and Council Control.svg

Map showing council control (left) and largest party by ward or division (right) following the election.

     Conservative     Labour     Liberal Democrats

     Scottish National Party        Plaid Cymru     UKIP

     Majority of independent councillors     No overall control     No election on 4 May 2017

The 2017 United Kingdom local elections were held on Thursday 4 May 2017. Local elections were held across Great Britain, with elections to 35 English local authorities and all councils in Scotland and Wales.

Newly created combined authority mayors were directly elected in six areas of England: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, the Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley, the West Midlands, and the West of England.[2] In addition, Doncaster and North Tyneside re-elected local authority mayors.[2] Local by-elections for 107 council seats also took place on 4 May.[3]

The Conservative Party enjoyed the best local election performance in a decade, making significant gains at the expense of the Labour Party, this despite the party having been in government for nearly seven years.[4] The UK Independence Party lost every seat they were defending, but gained just one seat at the expense of the Labour Party.[4] The Liberal Democrats lost 41 seats, despite their vote share increasing.[5][6][7] The Conservatives won four out of six metro-mayoral areas,[8]including in the traditionally Labour-voting Tees Valley and West Midlands.

The local elections were followed by a general election on 8 June.

Eligibility to vote[edit]

All registered electors (British, Irish, Commonwealth and European Union citizens) who were aged 18 or over (or aged 16 or over in Scotland)[9] on polling day were entitled to vote in the local elections.[10]A person who had two homes (such as a university student having a term-time address and living at home during holidays) could register to vote at both addresses as long as they were not in the same electoral area, and could vote in the local elections for the two different local councils.[11]

Individuals had to be registered to vote by midnight twelve working days before polling day (13 April 2017 in England and Wales; 17 April 2017 in Scotland).[12][13] Anyone qualifying as an anonymous elector had until midnight on 25 April 2017 to register.[14]

Seats held prior to the election[edit]

In total, 4,851 council seats were up for election in 88 councils; additionally six new mayors were directly elected.[15]Approximately 10,000 people were candidates for election.[16] All 32 councils in Scotland (1,227 seats) and all 22 councils in Wales (1,254 seats) were up for election; an additional 34 councils (2,370 seats) in England were up for election.[15] Of the 35 English councils up for election, 27 were county councils, seven were unitary authorities, and one was the Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council.[17]

According to a BBC News estimate, taking into account boundary changes, the major political parties were effectively defending the following notional results in council seats on election day:

  • Labour – 1,535 seats
  • Conservatives – 1,336 seats
  • Lib Dems – 484 seats
  • SNP – 438 seats
  • Plaid Cymru – 170 seats
  • UKIP – 146 seats
  • Green Party – 34 seats

There were also 687 independent councillors and 4 Mebyon Kernow councillors. The remaining 217 seats were held by residents’ associations and minor parties.[18] A by-election for the parliamentary constituency of Manchester Gorton (caused by the death of Sir Gerald Kaufman, the sitting MP) was due to be held on the same day as the local election, but the by-election was cancelled after the general election was called for the following month.[16]

Results[edit]

Overview map of council election results     Conservative hold     Conservative gain from No overall control     Conservative gain from Labour     Labour hold     Labour lose to Independent majority or No overall control     Scottish National Party lose to No overall control (Dundee City)     Plaid Cymru hold     Majority of independent councillors, no change     Majority of independent councillors lose to No overall control     No overall control, no change     No election on 4 May 2017

Overall Results – Great Britain[edit]

Party Councils[19] +/- Seats +/-
Conservative 28 Increase11 1,899 Increase563
Labour 9 Decrease7 1,152 Decrease382
Independent 6 Increase1 656 Decrease13
Liberal Democrat 0 Steady 441 Decrease42
SNP 0 Decrease1 431 Decrease7
Plaid Cymru 1 Steady 202 Increase33
Green 0 Steady 21 Increase1
Scottish Green 0 Steady 19 Increase5
RA 0 Steady 11 Decrease2
Llais Gwynedd 0 Steady 6 Decrease7
Mebyon Kernow 0 Steady 4 Steady
Health Concern 0 Steady 2 Decrease1
UKIP 0 Steady 1 Decrease145
Liberal 0 Steady 0 Decrease3
No overall control 44 Decrease4 n/a n/a

As elections were not held throughout the country, the BBC calculated a Projected National Vote Share (PNV), which aims to assess what the council results indicate the UK-wide vote would be “if the results were repeated at a general election”. The BBC’s preliminary Projected National Vote Share was 38% for the Conservatives, 27% for Labour, 18% for the Liberal Democrats and 5% for UKIP, with others on around 12%.[20]

This is the highest vote share for the Conservatives in local elections since 2008, when they faced Labour a decade into government and suffering from the financial crisis. The Liberal Democrats have performed better than at any election since 2010, whilst Labour has not performed so badly since 2010.[citation needed]

UKIP lost every seat they were defending. Prominent former UKIP members talked of the party being finished and that it should disband.[21][22][23]

Results by nation[edit]

England[edit]

Party Councils[24] +/- Seats +/-
Conservative 27 Increase10 1,439 Increase319
Labour 2 Decrease1 418 Decrease142
Liberal Democrat 0 Steady 312 Decrease28
Independent 0 Steady 162 Steady
Green 0 Steady 20 Steady
RA 0 Steady 11 Decrease2
Mebyon Kernow 0 Steady 4 Steady
Health Concern 0 Steady 2 Decrease1
UKIP 0 Steady 1 Decrease143
Liberal 0 Steady 0 Decrease3
No overall control 5 Decrease9 n/a n/a

Wales[edit]

Party Councils[25] +/- Seats +/-
Labour 7 Decrease3 472 Decrease107
Independent 3 Increase1 322 Increase13
Plaid Cymru 1 Steady 202 Increase33
Conservative 1 Increase1 184 Increase80
Liberal Democrat 0 Steady 62 Decrease11
Llais Gwynedd 0 Steady 6 Decrease7
Green 0 Steady 1 Increase1
UKIP 0 Steady 0 Decrease2
No overall control 10 Increase1 n/a n/a

Scotland[edit]

Following boundary changes:

e • d Summary of the 3 May 2017 Scottish council election results[26]
Party First-preference votes Councils +/- 2012 seats 2017 seats Seat change
Seats won Notional Seats won Seat % vs 2012 vs Notional
Scottish National Party 610,454 32.3% Steady0.0 0 Decrease1 425 438 431 35.1% Increase6 Decrease7
Conservative 478,073 25.3% Increase12.0% 0 Steady 115 112 276 22.5% Increase161 Increase164
Labour 380,957 20.2% Decrease11.4% 0 Decrease3 394 395 262 21.4% Decrease132 Decrease133
Independents 199,261 10.5% Decrease1.3% 3 Steady 196 198 172 14.1% Decrease24 Decrease26
Liberal Democrats 128,821 6.8% Increase0.2% 0 Steady 71 70 67 5.5% Decrease4 Decrease3
Green 77,682 4.1% Increase1.8% 0 Steady 14 14 19 1.6% Increase5 Increase5
No Overall Control 29 Increase4
Total 1,889,658 100.0 ±0.0 32 Steady 1,223 1,227 1,227 100.00 Increase4 Steady

There were boundary changes in many of these councils, with an increase in council seats across the country from 1,223 to 1,227, making direct comparisons with the 2012 results problematic. Notional seats and seat change are based on a notional 2012 result calculated by the BBC.[27][28]

Maps[edit]

Council control
(voting areas only)
Council control
(whole UK)
Before elections After elections Before elections After elections
United Kingdom local elections, 2017 - Control Before.svg United Kingdom local elections, 2017 - Control After.svg United Kingdom local elections, 2017 - Control Before Plus.svg United Kingdom local elections, 2017 - Control After Plus.svg
  No council election on 4 May 2017
Largest party by popular vote
(including mayoral elections)
Conservative
Labour
SNP
Plaid Cymru
Independents
0 10 20 30 40  %
and its vote share and the size of its majority
United Kingdom local elections, 2017 - First Party Vote Share.svg United Kingdom local elections, 2017 - First Party Majority.svg
  No election on 4 May 2017

England[edit]

Map of previous control of councils up for election.     Conservative     Labour     Scottish National Party     Majority of independent councillors     No overall control     No election on 4 May 2017

Non-metropolitan county councils[edit]

All 27 county councils for areas with a two-tier structure of local governance had all of their seats up for election. These were first-past-the-post elections in a mixture of single-member and multi-member electoral divisions.[citation needed]

Council Previous control Result Details
Buckinghamshire Conservative Conservative Details
Cambridgeshire No overall control (Conservative Minority) Conservative Details
Cumbria No overall control (Labour/Lib Dem Coalition) No overall control (TBC June 29th)[29] Details
Derbyshire Labour Conservative Details
Devon Conservative Conservative Details
Dorset Conservative Conservative Details
East Sussex No overall control (Conservative Minority) Conservative Details
Essex Conservative Conservative Details
Gloucestershire[30] No overall control (Conservative Minority) Conservative Details
Hampshire Conservative Conservative Details
Hertfordshire Conservative Conservative Details
Kent Conservative Conservative Details
Lancashire No overall control (Labour Minority w/Lib Dem Support) Conservative Details
Leicestershire Conservative Conservative Details
Lincolnshire No overall control (Conservative/Lib Dem Coalition) Conservative Details
Norfolk No overall control (Conservative Minority)† Conservative Details
North Yorkshire Conservative Conservative Details
Northamptonshire Conservative Conservative Details
Nottinghamshire Labour No overall control (Conservative/Independent coalition)[31][32] Details
Oxfordshire[33] No overall control (Conservative Minority) No overall control (Conservative/Independent coalition)[34] [35] Details
Somerset Conservative Conservative Details
Staffordshire Conservative Conservative Details
Suffolk No overall control (Conservative Minority) Conservative Details
Surrey Conservative Conservative Details
Warwickshire No overall control[36](Conservative Minority) Conservative Details
West Sussex Conservative Conservative Details
Worcestershire Conservative Conservative Details

‡ New electoral division boundaries [37]

† The Conservatives lost control in 2013, and were replaced by a Labour/UKIP/Lib Dem coalition with Independent/Green support. The Conservatives regained the council leadership in May 2016 after the Green Party abstained in the annual Council leadership election, and by-elections and defections later brought the Conservative total to 42 seats, giving them exactly 50% of the seats.[38]

Unitary authorities[edit]

Seven single-tier unitary authorities held elections, with all of their seats up for election. These were first-past-the-post elections in a mixture of single-member and multi-member electoral divisions or wards.[citation needed]

Council Proportion up
for election
Previous control Result Details
Cornwall All No overall control[39] (Lib Dem/Independent Coalition) No overall control (Lib Dem/Independent Coalition) [40] [41] Details
Durham All Labour Labour Details
Isle of Wight All No overall control (Conservative Minority) Conservative Details
Isles of Scilly All Independent Independent Details
Northumberland All No overall control (Labour Minority) No overall control (Conservative Minority)[42] Details
Shropshire All Conservative Conservative Details
Wiltshire All Conservative Conservative Details

Metropolitan boroughs[edit]

One metropolitan borough, the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster, had all of its seats up for election, after moving to whole council elections in 2015.[43] This was a first-past-the-post election in a mixture of two-member and three-member wards.

Council Previous control Result Details
Doncaster Labour Labour Details

Mayoral elections[edit]

Map of the regional combined authority mayoralties up for election in 2017.

Combined authority mayors[edit]

Six elections for directly elected regional mayors will be held. These newly established positions will lead combined authorities set up by groups of local councils, as part of devolution deals giving the combined authorities additional powers and funding.

Combined Authority Interim Mayor/Chair Result Details
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Robin Howe (Conservative) James Palmer (Conservative) Details
Greater Manchester Tony Lloyd (Labour) Andy Burnham (Labour) Details
Liverpool City Region Joe Anderson (Labour) Steve Rotheram (Labour) Details
Tees Valley Sue Jeffrey (Labour) Ben Houchen (Conservative) Details
West of England Matthew Riddle (Conservative) Tim Bowles (Conservative) Details
West Midlands Bob Sleigh (Conservative) Andy Street (Conservative) Details

Other planned mayoralties have been postponed or cancelled.[44] The election of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority mayor was postponed in January 2017[45] and, following legal action, will not happen in 2017 at all;[46] while devolution deals were also scrapped for the North East Combined Authority,[47] Norfolk and Suffolk[48] and Greater Lincolnshire.[49]

There were concerns at the low turnout recorded.[50][6]

Local authority mayors[edit]

Two elections for directly elected local district mayors will be held. These Mayors act as council leaders in their local authorities.

Local Authority Incumbent Mayor Result Details
Doncaster Ros Jones (Labour) Ros Jones (Labour) Details
North Tyneside Norma Redfearn (Labour) Norma Redfearn (Labour) Details

Scotland[edit]

Map of the Scottish results.

Council Previous control Result Details
Aberdeen City No overall control No overall control Details
Aberdeenshire SNP No overall control Details
Angus No overall control No overall control Details
Argyll and Bute No overall control No overall control Details
Clackmannanshire No overall control No overall control Details
Dumfries and Galloway No overall control No overall control Details
Dundee City SNP No overall control Details
East Ayrshire No overall control No overall control Details
East Dunbartonshire No overall control No overall control Details
East Lothian No overall control No overall control Details
East Renfrewshire No overall control No overall control Details
City of Edinburgh No overall control No overall control Details
Falkirk No overall control No overall control Details
Fife No overall control No overall control Details
Glasgow City Labour No overall control Details
Highland No overall control No overall control Details
Inverclyde No overall control No overall control Details
Midlothian No overall control No overall control Details
Moray No overall control No overall control Details
Na h-Eileanan Siar Independent Independent Details
North Ayrshire No overall control No overall control Details
North Lanarkshire No overall control No overall control Details
Orkney Independent Independent Details
Perth and Kinross No overall control No overall control Details
Renfrewshire Labour No overall control Details
Scottish Borders No overall control No overall control Details
Shetland Independent Independent Details
South Ayrshire No overall control No overall control Details
South Lanarkshire Labour No overall control Details
Stirling No overall control No overall control Details
West Dunbartonshire Labour No overall control Details
West Lothian No overall control No overall control Details

Wales[edit]

Map of the Welsh results.

Council Previous control Result Details
Isle of Anglesey No overall control No overall control Details
Blaenau Gwent Labour Independent Details
Bridgend Labour No overall control Details
Caerphilly Labour Labour Details
Cardiff Labour Labour Details
Carmarthenshire No overall control No overall control Details
Ceredigion No overall control No overall control Details
Conwy No overall control
(Plaid Cymru/Labour/Lib Dem/Independent Coalition) †
No overall control Details
Denbighshire No overall control
(Plaid Cymru/Independent/Conservative Coalition) ‡
No overall control Details
Flintshire No overall control No overall control Details
Gwynedd Plaid Cymru†† Plaid Cymru Details
Merthyr Tydfil Labour Independent Details
Monmouthshire No overall control Conservative Details
Neath Port Talbot Labour Labour Details
Newport Labour Labour Details
Pembrokeshire Independent Independent Details
Powys Independent No overall control Details
Rhondda Cynon Taff Labour Labour Details
Swansea Labour Labour Details
Torfaen Labour Labour Details
Vale of Glamorgan No overall control No overall control Details
Wrexham No overall control No overall control Details

† In 2014, the only Welsh Liberal Democrat cabinet member defected to Welsh Labour; thus the Liberal Democrats left the coalition.[51]

In 2015, several Independent councillors created their own group within the council called Conwy First. This group later on went to support the council [clarification needed] instead of the remaining five independent councillors, so that the coalition was then made up of Plaid Cymru, Welsh Labour and Conwy First.[52]

‡ The Welsh Liberal Democrats later lost their only seat on the Council, thereby leaving the coalition.[53][54]

†† At the original election Plaid Cymru won exactly half the seats; they later took control of the council by winning a by-election.

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