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5:47 PM 3rd May 2024
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State Of The Locals On Friday Evening

 
There are always twists and turns with local elections results. But if we ignore the noise, the underlying signal from this set of elections is a steady drumbeat of lost Conservative council seats. Yes Ben Houchen has held on to Tees Valley and Labour has lost control of Oldham, but when the dust settles on these moments of drama it is likely that the Conservatives will no longer have half the seats that they were defending.

Labour will be pleased to have taken control of councils like Hartlepool, Hyndburn, Redditch, Rushmoor, Adur and Thurrock - successes across a variety of regions. The Conservatives will find solace in their defence of Harlow, which had been a key Labour target.

Major mayoral contests have been won by Labour in the East Midlands, York and North Yorkshire and the North East, and the Conservatives in Tees Valley. But dig under the eye-catching headlines and you will often find mayoral candidates who have over- or under-performed compared to their parties. It is clear that voters consider these elections to be local contests more than national politicians appreciate or care to admit.

There are still important results to come in, but while many will be straining to read across to a general election, the real consequence of these elections is that increasingly it will be Labour politicians, taking the tough decisions in councils over the next four years.
Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive, Local Government Information Unit (LGIU)



Thanks to the Local Government Information Unit for this update.