Local Elections 2018 and Narratives

In short

Labour notionally held most of the seats: In notional terms (accounting for boundary changes), Labour held about half of council seats up for election.

Electoral Tapestry

In England, there is a confusing tapestry of different types of local councils, which have different compositions, functions and election cycles. This is not a system built for simple study.

  • Four metropolitan boroughs held entire elections, with 30 more having a third of seats up for election;
  • In 16 unitary authorities, a third of their councils were to be elected — with one unitary authority up for election in its entirety (Kingston upon Hull);
  • Seven district councils had all their council seats up for election, with six district councils having half of their seats elected, and a further 54 having a third of councillors elected.
This is a rough guide created by the House of Commons Library. (Source: House of Commons Library)
Rallings & Thrasher show the breakdown by different types of councils. (Source: Local Government Chronicle)

National equivalent vote share

The local nature of local elections is given passing mention in the article:

“Years with grey shading indicate that a General Election was held on the same day and in these years General Election vote share is shown.” (Source: House of Commons Library)
The Conservatives increased by seven points, compared to five for Labour. (Source: Local Government Chronicle)

Likely to be misleading

Local elections vary by what type of councils are up for elections, and what parties hold those seats.

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