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2024 local elections discussion thread

On 2nd May 2024, a number of local elections are taking place in England, with some also in Wales.

The elections include:
The Mayor of London and London Assembly
10 other combined- and single-authority mayors
26 English unitary and district councils in full
81 English unitary and district councils in part
All police and crime commissioners in England and Wales
There's also a parliamentary by-election on the same day in Blackpool South.

All of that means that it's very hard to map the whole election as yet, but I once again recommend the Wikipedia page, which gives a good snapshot of what's up for election and the results when they come in later in the week.

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Counting down to the day after tomorrow! :eek:
The last election which had a comparable composition of councils was the 2021 Local Election, wherein the Conservatives made significant gains in traditionally Labour-held areas.

At a national level the Conservatives had around a 1%-11% lead over Labour, depending on the poll, but averaged at around 6%-7%. Currently Labour have a 15%-26% lead over the Conservatives, depending on the poll, and average at around 18-20%.

I think it's fair to anticipate gains for Labour and losses for the Conservatives, but it will be very interesting to see how much national polling is reflected at a local level. The Greens are also expected to make significant gains like they did last year, they may claim Bristol council and a few others. Reform, now polling at about 10% nationally, may also make gains.

There is much discussion about a Conservative leadership contest if they lose at least half of their councillors. I don't personally buy it, but I'd love to see the chaos of another leadership debate and the Conservatives further digging themself a hole. 😁
(edited 2 months ago)
It's an exciting one :woo: Certainly here in West Yorkshire where we're electing our mayor again!
While the general patterns of gains and losses will be interesting, the main two things to watch on the local side (as well as the Blackpool South by-election) are the Teesside and West Midlands mayoralties (if we think that London looks safe enough for Labour now) polling suggests both are on a knife-edge!
Reply 5
Original post by Saracen's Fez
While the general patterns of gains and losses will be interesting, the main two things to watch on the local side (as well as the Blackpool South by-election) are the Teesside and West Midlands mayoralties (if we think that London looks safe enough for Labour now) polling suggests both are on a knife-edge!

I’d add the Mayor of the North East to this list. The former Labour member Jamie Driscoll is polling close to the Labour candidate.
This is a very comprehensive summary of what's up for grabs council-wise this week! https://swingometer.substack.com/p/local-elections-the-big-preview-part-233
I must say that all the discussion of Gaza tonight on the BBC really hammers home how events abroad can have a real impact on our domestic politics, even right down to the local level.
Reply 8
Tories have lost the by-election and control of 50% of their council majorities from the ones that have currently reported in. Only a third of councils have reported so far and we're still waiting for the mayorals, but it's definitely a nice set of results to wake up to.
Reply 9
Blackpool result was third biggest post-war by-election swing way from the Conservatives.

Amusing listening to luckless Conservative councillor trying to find some positives on Radio 4. Apparently the problem is the messaging of all the positives the Conservatives are doing is failing to get through.
It's hilarious watching the Conservatives cling onto their Tees Valley candidate, they have nothing else to show for themselves. This has been a disaster of a night for them, I hope we see something similar at the general election.
Original post by SHallowvale
It's hilarious watching the Conservatives cling onto their Tees Valley candidate, they have nothing else to show for themselves. This has been a disaster of a night for them, I hope we see something similar at the general election.

The most charitable thing we can say about Ben Houchen is he oversaw the reckless squandering of taxpayers money. The less generous is he has been involved in one of the biggest corruption scandals of recent years.

So it reflects poorly on the people Teesside that they continue to support him and it says a lot about the Conservatives that this is there one victory from yesterday.

I hope we’ll see a full investigation into his conduct come the next government.
A clear Labour win and (despite what Sky News are trying to suggest) clearly Labour are in a strong position to win the next election outright.

The details are intriguing though Labour winning deep into Tory territory to suggest they have big potential at the general election, yet major jitters around London where the mayoral race will be really close!
Original post by Saracen's Fez
A clear Labour win and (despite what Sky News are trying to suggest) clearly Labour are in a strong position to win the next election outright.
The details are intriguing though Labour winning deep into Tory territory to suggest they have big potential at the general election, yet major jitters around London where the mayoral race will be really close!

You think? My impression was that Khan was comfortably ahead in the Mayoral race, but I guess we'll see and wait for tomorrow. If Khan does lose it'll be very interesting to see where and why - perhaps a consequence of Gaza, etc.
Original post by SHallowvale
You think? My impression was that Khan was comfortably ahead in the Mayoral race, but I guess we'll see and wait for tomorrow. If Khan does lose it'll be very interesting to see where and why - perhaps a consequence of Gaza, etc.


Lots of panic: https://news.sky.com/story/vote-2024-local-election-results-sunak-starmer-davey-tories-labour-lib-dems-blackpool-south-by-election-12593360?postid=7622002#liveblog-body

I'd be surrpised if there are much more than 5 percentage points in it tomorrow!
(edited 2 months ago)

Fascinating. 🍿😎
The other weird thing is that police commissioner elections are so low salience that either voters don't see the point in voting tactically or don't know how to: we've seen incredibly efficient Lab/LD tactical voting in almost every other election in the last few years (bar a couple of genuine Lab/LD battlegrounds) but a fair few Labour PCC candidates have just missed out with a 15-25% LD vote in third place.
Original post by Saracen's Fez
A clear Labour win and (despite what Sky News are trying to suggest) clearly Labour are in a strong position to win the next election outright.

The details are intriguing though Labour winning deep into Tory territory to suggest they have big potential at the general election, yet major jitters around London where the mayoral race will be really close!


What Sky News trying to suggest?
Original post by Talkative Toad
What Sky News trying to suggest?


That we're on track for a hung parliament: https://news.sky.com/story/sky-news-projection-labour-on-course-to-be-largest-party-but-short-of-overall-majority-13128242

We aren't, for two reasons:
1) The Labour vote is far better distributed, so they're getting bigger swings from the Tories in the places they need to win in a general election, so the swing they actually need could be as little as half what they'd need on uniform national swing (if the swing were the same everywhere).
2) There's strong evidence for incresibly efficient Labour/Lib Dem tactical voting, including in these elections (PCCs aside) but in practice at a general election Labour will benefit a lot more from tactical voting than the LDs, whereas it's more even at a local election where the LDs can win in more places.
(edited 2 months ago)
London is intriguing: it seems to be that people were freaking out about Khan's chances because of a high Lib Dem vote. It is unusually high but early results suggest it's a different vote: 2021 LD supporters voted tactically for Khan, and the LDs took some 2021 Tories who were put off by Susan Hall and Rishi Sunak.

It's not a done deal because we need to see if the Khan vote has held up in inner London, but it's looking less panicked today/

I'm presuming Street is still looking like the winner in the West Midlands, and it's gone quiet because that's everyone's working assumption now.

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