British Local Elections, May 2024
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IceAgeComing
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« Reply #50 on: March 26, 2024, 03:56:50 PM »

First poll for London mayor since Feb:


This will be the first London mayoral election held via First Past the Post.

Why though?  It seems like such a huge step backward to go to FPTP.

The official reason was that SV was 'overcomplicated and confusing' but ultimately its because at that point the Tories believed it would benefit them - Labour losing votes to the Lib Dems and Greens that they previously would have gotten back through preferences; while the Tories would have gotten less from the Lib Dems and then the small number of right wing independent. With the rise of Reform that balance shifts I think; especially factoring in other Mayoral/PCC elections where Reform might pose more of a risk.

Its worth noting that SV was far from perfect and almost relied on a core two party system to work as intended: in London since 2004 it allowed voters to vote for a minority party knowing that ultimately they could back their preference of the big two. However in the 2000 election it sort of posed issues for people that weren't Labour/Tory/Livingstone voters - a smart voter in those elections had some clear options (Livingstone voters probably preference Labour, the Tories I would suspect would have went for Norris over Livingstone but who knows; Labour probably more split than people think) but if you were a Lib Dem/minor party voter then you still had to think tactically about that second preference in order to make sure it counted. To give a more relevant modern example: imagine a place where the Greens are locally strong, Labour have a decent core vote and so they are roughly even and more voter blocks preference each other and the Conservatives can probably get 45% in a good year: under FPTP they win on split votes; under SV I suspect they win as Lib Dem and other votes scatter to the wrong candidate; while under AV you would see a more accurate reflection as anti-Tory Lib Dems could rank the Lib Dems, Greens and Labour in any order and their vote would naturally flow to the biggest anti-Tory candidate. Traditional AV is better in every way; it makes more sense ('rank candidates in the order of your preference, as many as you would like'); it allows voters more choice and in more complex elections it gives voters a firm ability to influence the final result no matter what.
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YL
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« Reply #51 on: April 02, 2024, 12:25:58 PM »

The entire Labour group on Pendle council have left the party, a few days before nominations close for this year's election.
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Tintrlvr
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« Reply #52 on: April 02, 2024, 01:23:56 PM »

The entire Labour group on Pendle council have left the party, a few days before nominations close for this year's election.

Pendle is already very politically complex (one of the few councils that are genuine three-way battles between the parties), so this will add another layer to the chaos. The Lib Dems were already likely to make gains at this election from the Tories, repeating gains in 2023, and this probably nails that down, but it will be a question whether Labour will field candidates against the ex-Labour councillors (most of whom are in very safe seats otherwise) and, if official Labour candidates win, whether they will continue to work with the Lib Dems (who have already announced their intention to continue cooperating with the ex-Labour councillors to run the council).
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Duke of York
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« Reply #53 on: April 02, 2024, 01:41:03 PM »

The entire Labour group on Pendle council have left the party, a few days before nominations close for this year's election.
why did they leave?
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Oryxslayer
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« Reply #54 on: April 02, 2024, 02:09:20 PM »
« Edited: April 02, 2024, 08:45:00 PM by Oryxslayer »

The entire Labour group on Pendle council have left the party, a few days before nominations close for this year's election.
why did they leave?

The official complaint is national party direction conflicting with local views.

The real semi-unspoken reason is likely the same reason that certain Labour councilors in other northwest councils have chosen to defect in the past months - Gaza. I think almost every Labour councilor in Pendle has a Muslim background, and all represent the southern wards where this population is prevalent and is going to make their voice heard.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened. Nearly the exact same thing happened in adjacent Burnley, just several months back. All the councilors with Muslim backgrounds went Indie, breaking Labour's minority admin, then formed an administration on their own with the Greens and Lib-Dems.


Like I said further back, these coordinated defections are one of the questions for the local elections. Nobody can excuse the councilors right now for following their own views or constituents. That is local politics. But this is foreign policy. Local councilors really have no influence on such things. And Labour are still going to be punching above their weight in May. Defectors here and elsewhere would have failed and just proven they can be ignored if Labour just walks back right into most of these wards. Alternatively, if Muslim voters want these type of councilors, they have the opportunity to kick out Labour in certain other areas for similar candidates.

Which brings me to the next point. Underlying everything is the question of access to local power. In these northwest councils the defectors can keep their positions without the party label, just cause of the council math. In other places, like Walsall, Labour has no chance at taking power so the councilors can defect without changing their status. But in places like say Rochdale where defections would not change the calculus of the Labour majority, and would just be councilors removing themselves from the decision process, this has not occurred. But voter behavior should be the same in theory, whether that will lead to Labour holding/retaking the wards on reduced majorities or losing ground to Muslim independents.
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Tintrlvr
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« Reply #55 on: April 02, 2024, 03:25:27 PM »

The entire Labour group on Pendle council have left the party, a few days before nominations close for this year's election.
why did they leave?

The official complaint is national party direction conflicting with local views.

The real semi-unspoken reason is likely the same reason that certain Labour councilors in other northwest councils have chosen to defect in the past months - Gaza. I think almost every Labour councilor in Pendle has a Muslim background, and all represent the southern wards where this population is prevalent and is going to make their voice heard.

This isn't the first time something has happened. Nearly the exact same thing happened in adjacent Burnley, just several months back. All the councilors with Muslim backgrounds went Indie, breaking Labour's minority admin, then formed an administration on their own with the Greens and Lib-Dems.


Like I said further back, these coordinated defections are one of the questions for the local elections. Nobody can excuse the councilors right now for following their own views or constituents. That is local politics. But this is foreign policy. Local councilors really have no influence on such things. And Labour are still going to be punching above their weight in May. Defectors here and elsewhere would have failed and just proven they can be ignored if Labour just walks back right into most of these wards. Alternatively, if Muslim voters want these type of councilors, they have the opportunity to kick out Labour in certain other areas for similar candidates.

Which brings me to the next point. Underlying everything is the question of access to local power. In these northeast councils the defectors can keep their positions without the party label, just cause of the council math. In other places, like Walsall, Labour has no chance at taking power so the councilors can defect without changing their status. But in places like say Rochdale where defections would not change the calculus of the Labour majority, and would just be councilors removing themselves from the decision process, this has not occurred. But voter behavior should be the same in theory, whether that will lead to Labour holding/retaking the wards on reduced majorities or losing ground to Muslim independents.

There is one Labour councillor who does not have a Muslim background, but she has also defected. Quite a few of the Tory councillors also have Muslim background (for example, all three councillors in Bradley ward - two Tory, one ex-Labour independent - are named Mohammad/Mohammed).
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #56 on: April 02, 2024, 05:00:50 PM »

The very odd wording ought to raise a few eyebrows. I suspect there are multiple factors at play and, reading between the lines and noting some of the specific words used, would be surprised if selection issues (whether shortlisting, deselections etc.) are that far from the picture. It's a fairly small group and I suspect most (all?) know each other very well: there can often be resentment at outsiders (even if it's just Region) having a poke about when that's the case. There's also the possibility of this being, perhaps in part, fallout from the Rochdale fiasco: the disendorsed Labour candidate was (is) a county councillor for one of the Nelson divisions.
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Duke of York
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« Reply #57 on: April 02, 2024, 11:04:21 PM »

Can Labour win back control of the Oxford city council despite several councilors going independent?
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YL
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« Reply #58 on: April 03, 2024, 02:20:14 AM »

Can Labour win back control of the Oxford city council despite several councilors going independent?

They currently have 20 councillors, but there are two vacant seats which were both theirs, so effectively they need three gains to get to 25 out of 48. Oxford elects by halves, so there are 24 seats up, plus a second seat in Blackbird Leys because of the vacancy. (The other vacant seat would have been up anyway.)

Labour seat up (12 wards, 13 seats): Blackbird Leys (2), Carfax & Jericho, Churchill, Headington Hill & Northway, Hinksey Park, Littlemore, Lye Valley, Marston, Osney & St Thomas, St Clement's, Temple Cowley, Walton Manor.

Formerly Labour seat held by defector up (5): Barton & Sandhills, Cowley, Holywell, Northfield Brook, Rose Hill & Iffley.

Lib Dem seat up (5): Cutteslowe & Sunnymead, Headington, Quarry & Risinghurst, Summertown, Wolvercote.

Green seat up (2): Donnington, St Mary's.

So it looks like the answer is yes, as long as the defectors don't get much electoral traction and Labour take most of their seats back. There is, however, another point: two of those Labour defences (Marston and Osney & St Thomas) were won by Greens in 2022, so those seats are vulnerable, and the Greens will also fancy their chances at the ex-Labour seat in the very studenty Holywell ward. Independents have also got some respectable vote shares in Oxford recently (indeed one of the Independents not up this year was elected as such) so I don't think it's a done deal.

NB the registered political party called the Oxford Independent Alliance do not appear to be connected to the existing Independent councillors, including the "Oxford Socialist Independents" and the "Independent Group".
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Oryxslayer
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« Reply #59 on: April 03, 2024, 08:13:19 AM »

Important to remember, like in Pendle and several other councils, the 10 Labour defectors in Oxford are cause of Labour's Gaza policy. Unlike Pendle and the Northwest though half of said defectors seem to lack Muslim backgrounds and are likely more motivated by the student angle on the issue. Also, Oxford is not like certain other councils where this has played out. While there is a decent (8.7% according to the 2021 Census) Muslim population - which is why there is representation on the council - this is far below and not comparable to other councils where this divide has played out.

Given all these factors and how poor student turnout usually is for local elections, there is less ambiguity then in Pendle, Walsall, Burnley, or elsewhere. Labour returning to their wards is much easier to imagine and maybe even likely. In contrast to those other places though it is also easier to imagine the overall electorate turning on Labour in favor of another party, say both Labour and ex-Labour losing both old and new ground to the Greens.


More interesting IMO when it comes to defectors is Stroud and Hastings. Stround has saw mass Labour defections in 2022 seemingly initially prompted by the national parties choice of parliamentary candidate. But in doing so they let the Greens into power and now several years later a good Green campaign could take their seats. Meanwhile in Hastings the council delegation was seemingly divided and rivalrous from the start. The biggest group of defectors still came cause of Gaza, but Hastings has a miniscule Muslim population and the defectors were not Muslim. Gaza was just an excuse for other issues, rather than the other way around. The question is whether these longer-term fratricideal issues will matter to voters.
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Blair
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« Reply #60 on: April 04, 2024, 02:19:58 AM »

Was the West Midlands metro mayoral area designed to be winnable for the Conservatives or have they just been very lucky with their opponents and their own candidate ?
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CumbrianLefty
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« Reply #61 on: April 04, 2024, 06:40:09 AM »

Its the same as the old West Midlands metropolitan county, so no funny stuff there at least.

It is fair to say the Tories got *very* lucky with the original choice of Labour candidate in 2017, yes. Liam Byrne, their standard bearer in 2021, would probably have won then but four years later Street had been able to build a profile and the tide was at that time going in the Tories favour anyway.

(which is obviously not the case now, so holding it even as a TINO would be a notable achievement)
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icc
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« Reply #62 on: April 04, 2024, 08:28:19 AM »

And Liam Byrne was also a terrible candidate.
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Oryxslayer
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« Reply #63 on: April 04, 2024, 08:45:09 AM »

Let us also not forget that the 2017 local elections took place before May choose to blow herself up. They were one of the many points of evidence at the time that calling an election had been the right decision politically. In raw percentage terms the results of that election were just as good for the Tories as 2021.

So even though Street and Houchen eventually became actors with their own profiles, it's hard to not conclude that both were products of a wave environment, and then secured reelection in part cause of another wave environment.
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AustralianSwingVoter
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« Reply #64 on: April 04, 2024, 10:55:51 AM »

Let us also not forget that the 2017 local elections took place before May choose to blow herself up. They were one of the many points of evidence at the time that calling an election had been the right decision politically. In raw percentage terms the results of that election were just as good for the Tories as 2021.

The county councils have perfectly dodged a bad Tory result. Since they were up in '97 with the general election the only real setback was in 2013, and even then it was just as much losses to UKIP as Labour. In 2017 they were up in the middle of the Theresa May honeymoon, 2021 was the peak of Boris's covid "success", paired with Hartlepool.
Would be extremely funny if when they come up in 2025 the Tories somehow cling onto the shires if Keir's honeymoon is extremely brief.
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YL
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« Reply #65 on: April 06, 2024, 01:22:15 AM »

Lists of candidates are beginning to appear: the deadline for nominations was 4pm yesterday, but councils have until 4pm on Monday to publish.

In Rochdale, 13 out of the 20 wards have Workers Party candidates; the exceptions are mostly in the wards covering Middleton but also include two Rochdale town wards. Farooq Ahmed, the Lib Dem who was observed campaigning for Galloway in the by-election, had been nominated as a Lib Dem (slightly surprisingly, given nominations didn't open until long after the by-election) but his nomination was withdrawn, and a new one submitted with him as a Workers Party candidate; the Lib Dems also found another candidate. Only one of the Independents from the by-election is standing, and that is William Howarth (the anti-grooming campaigner) who is the Workers Party candidate in Balderstone & Kirkholt ward.

The SDP have an impressive 19 candidates in Leeds and scattered candidates elsewhere. Reform UK, not noted for their interest in local elections, have managed to find full slates in Sunderland and Hartlepool.

Labour defectors in Burnley and Pendle are standing as Independents (or "no description" candidates, which is functionally the same). One defector in Pendle had already been nominated as Labour; like Farooq Ahmed in Rochdale his nomination was withdrawn and Labour found a new candidate, but he was then nominated again as a "no description" candidate.

There are large numbers of Independent candidates in some further councils, including Oldham, Kirklees and Bradford; in the last named three of them are incumbent councillors defending their seats. Some of these are probably on organised slates, but certainly not all (and in Oldham several wards have two or three Independents competing against each other).

Oh, and the Greens somehow managed to nominate two candidates for the single vacancy in Bucklow-St Martins ward of Trafford.
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warandwar
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« Reply #66 on: April 07, 2024, 09:51:59 AM »

Some more on the far left parties
Workers Party (not exactly a left wing party) is also running one candidate in Peterborough

TUSC are running the most - 290 candidates, including a full slate in Plymouth. I think they basically get every cadre SPEW member to run, though i know some other miniscule groups have joined as well, including the British Spartacists.

CPB are running 1 candidate in Cambridge.

In Gloucester there are a group of 6 camdidates running as "Socialist Labour." Unclear if this is Scargills group or something else.

Haven't seen it mentioned here that Jaime Driscoll got RMT's endorsement - i don't think theyre endorsing any TUSC candidate this time.
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JimJamUK
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« Reply #67 on: April 07, 2024, 11:18:52 AM »

TUSC are running the most - 290 candidates, including a full slate in Plymouth. I think they basically get every cadre SPEW member to run, though i know some other miniscule groups have joined as well, including the British Spartacists.

Haven't seen it mentioned here that Jaime Driscoll got RMT's endorsement - i don't think theyre endorsing any TUSC candidate this time.
They disaffiliated in 2022. They recognise Labour as the main alternative to the Tories, albeit they’re happy to endorse candidates like Driscoll who are seen as having a decent chance of winning.
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Oryxslayer
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« Reply #68 on: April 07, 2024, 11:29:05 AM »

East of England

All Up:
Basildon: 26 Con – 10 Lab – 1 Others – 5 Indies (6 Con – 6 Lab – 1 Others – 1 Indie in 2023).

Brentwood: 18 Con – 17 LD – 2 Lab (8 LD – 4 Con – 1 Lab in 2023).

Castle Point: Council: 8 Con – 31 Others in two groups – 1 Indie (7 Others – 6 Others – 1 Con in 2023). 

Epping Forest: 34 Con – 13 Others – 5 LD – 2 Greens – 4 Indies (14 Con – 3 LD – 1 Indie in 2023)

Harlow: 21 Con – 12 Lab (6 Lab – 5 Con in 2023)

North Hertfordshire: 19 Lab – 15 LD – 15 Con (8 LD – 5 Lab – 3 Con in 2023)

Stevenage: 24 Lab – 9 Con – 6 LD (9 Lab – 2 Con – 2 LD in 2023)

Partial:

Broxbourne: 9 Con – 1 Lab [27 Con – 3 Lab] (9 Con – 1 Lab in 2023)

Cambridge: 8 Lab – 5 LD – 1 Green [Council: 24 Lab – 12 LD – 4 Greens – 1 Con – 1 Indie] (10 Lab – 4 LD – 2 Greens in 2023)

Colchester: 7 Con – 5 Lab – 5 LD [Council: 19 Con – 16 LD – 14 Lab – 2 Greens] (6 Con – 6 LD – 4 Lab – 1 Green in 2023)

Ipswich: 9 Lab – 4 Con – 1 LD – 3 Indies [Council: 33 Lab – 9 Con – 3 LD – 3 Indies] (12 Lab – 3 Con – 1 LD in 2023)

Norwich: 6 Lab – 4 Greens – 1 LD – 2 Indies [19 Lab – 13 Greens – 3 LD – 4 Indies] (7 Lab – 5 Greens – 1 LD in 2023)

Peterborough: 14 Con - 2 Lab – 1 LD – 3 Others – 2 Indies [Council: 22 Con – 14 Lab – 8 LD – 2 Greens – 10 Others in 2 groups – 4 Indies] (8 Con – 6 Lab – 4 LD – 2 Green – 1 Other in 2023)

Rochford: 5 Con – 1 LD – 1 other – 6 Indies [Council: 12 Con – 8 LD – 1 Green – 7 Others – 11 Indies] (5 Con – 4 LD – 3 Others – 1 Indie in 2023)

Thurrock: 11 Con – 4 Lab – 2 Indies [Council: 23 Con – 19 Lab – 7 Indies] (9 Lab – 4 Con – 3 Indies in 2023)

Southend-on-Sea: 11 Con – 3 Lab – 1 LD – 2 Indies [Council: 22 Con – 16 Lab – 4 LD – 1 Green – 8 Indies] (7 Lab – 5 Con – 1 LD – 1 Green – 3 Indies in 2023)

St. Albans: 15 LD – 2 Con – 1 Green [Council: 48 LD – 4 Con -  3 Greens – 1 Indie] (15 LD – 2 Greens – 1 Con in 2023)

Three Rivers: 7 LD – 4 Con – 1 Lab – 1 Indie [Council: 21 LD – 12 Con – 3 Lab – 2 Greens – 1 Indie] (8 LD – 4 Con – 1 Lab – 1 Green in 2023)

Watford: 8 LD – 4 Lab [Council: 27 LD – 9 Lab] (9 LD – 3 Lab in 2023]

Welwyn Hatfield: 14 Con – 2 LD [Council: 22 Con – 14 LD – 12 Lab] (6 Lab – 6 LD – 4 Con in 2023)



Current councilors Up. When boundary changes force everyone up, the oldest elected councilor is given priority in a ward.



2023 Results in these wards. When all councilors were up, the best performing councilor is given priority in a ward.

The Liberal Democrats and localist alliances are a force in many councils here, so it is often not appropriate to just talk about a one versus one election. I think it is best therefore to start with where things are duopolistic, and then move on to places where things are more complicated.

The Conservatives govern 7 of 20 councils up for election in the East of England, and only two are safe. They mathematically cannot lose Broxbourne and it would be a shock if voters chose something other than the consistent-for-a-decade result of Conservative taking 9 wards and 1 for Labour. The situation is similar in adjacent Epping Forest, even though all seats are up under new lines. There is no established opposition to the Conservatives in most wards. The largest force is a resident association that confines itself solely to Loughton, where it presently holds and should retain every seat available. The Greens surged in neighboring North Hertfordshire under a similar electoral situation in 2023, but right now there is little evidence of repetition. Additionally, when the Greens launched their campaign in Bristol they focused on urban issues and mentioned urban councils, not Essex.

Labour for its part cannot mathematically lose control of Ipswich, and statistically are very unlikely have anything to fear in Stevenage where all councilors are up under new lines. In Ipswich the small Tory delegation even has issues internally with defections, one going Indie and then choosing to stand under ReformUK rather than as an Indie. The non-Labour groups are even here noticeably overexposed compared to 2023 and 2022 thanks to the 2021 wave, so Labour gains seem likely.

Labour should easily take control in Thurrock. Beyond the issues faced by the Conservatives nationally, Thurrock is still plagued by the debt of almost £500 million built up over several years of failed investments. The Conservatives did face a significant backlash in 2023 over their mismanagement, but the insulated 2021 Tory wave allowed them to keep their majority. Only that majority became a minority after defections over budget disagreements surrounding the councils’ economic woes. The peculiar nature of how the rotation system, with some wards up in one year but not the next, means that Labour just repeating their direct results from 2023 would only get them a minority. But they have a wider field of targets than just former victories, some which had no election in 2023, so making six gains or more for a majority is not that unlikely.

Harlow is simpler than Thurrock. All councilors are up on new ward lines. The Tories have held power ever since they swept ten wards to Labour’s one in 2021. That class is now up along with everyone else. This is one of the places where Labour would have lost if everything was up in 2022 but won based on the 2023 results. The ward changes are rather significant in certain areas, and depending on if and how voters split their ballots council control could end up decided by a single seat.

Then there is Basildon, which is also all up under new lines. It remains divided by the A127. Basildon town south of the road is mainly Labour versus Conservative, whereas Billericay and Wickford north of the road are much more Conservative. In the past Lib-Dems had a base of support in the north, but now their only challenge comes from the Wickford localists in the 3 – becoming 2.5 – Wickford wards. The presence of independent counselors complicates matters. Labour are not going to become the largest party in Basildon barring something extremely shocking. Every councilor being up though does allow for the possibility of undoing the poor 2021 result and the sub-par 2022 one, breaking the majority and potentially allowing for a coalition depending on the Wickford Group’s results and opinions.

When it comes to Liberal Democrat controlled councils, they mathematically cannot lose control in Watford and St. Albans. Labour is the opposition in the former and the Tories the most prominent group in the latter. Neither council presently appears poised for a massive change in composition from the present Lib-Dem dominance. The third council in the region with a Lib-Dem majority is Three Rivers, controlled in various forms by the Lib-Dems for several decades. While their majority is slim, it has proven itself to be solid, with the nationalized 2015 being the only recent time any real number of seats changed hands. Dickinsons ward though will probably go Green, like it did in 2022 and 2023.
 
The final simple council is Brentwood, where all the councilors are up after boundary changes. It is currently under a Lib-Dem Labour coalition, but the Tories are the largest party by one seat. The Lib-Dems won the most seats in 2022 and then swept in 2023 but could not knock out the Tories since half their councilors came from the 2021 wave. Now they are up.

Now for the complex councils. Cambridge and Norwich are similar in that the Conservatives have little voice and politics is tri-cornered between the Labour, the Lib-Dems, and the Greens. Both are places in 2023 where Labour lost a few wards and the Greens made net gains. In Cambridge this was backlash to their Congestion Changes plan, now halted. In Nowich this seemingly was just the Greens slowly consolidating their base as in the past. The one major difference though is that while both cities elected a Labour majority in 2023, Norwich Labour lost 4 councilors to defections and now has a minority. While these councilors did defect at the same time as others across the country cause of Gaza, they stressed their choices were more multifaceted and that they had more issues with the national leadership than just this singular policy decision. Either way, two of the defectors are up and if Labour matches 2023 (lose Wenson ward to the Greens, take back the two defectors) they will regain the majority by 1. These two councils though are both places where activist disappointment could lead to currently unexpended Green gains.

Colchester is a three way between Labour, the Lib-Dems and the Tories. Unlike the subsequent councils though, the situation in Colchester is stagnant. The Tories have mostly been kicked out of the urban wards, and until the national mood or local distribution of power changes, Labour and the Lib-Dems will still work together. Right now, the Lib-Dems lead. Since most of the tight wards in 2023 were between Labour and the Lib-Dems though, there is a small possibility of two net Labour gains making them the coalition’s leader. An interesting story to follow is that both the Labour and Lib-Dem’s selected GE candidates are standing as councilors for reelection in May.

All councilors are up thanks to boundary changes in North Hertfordshire. Currently the council is a Labour-led coalition with the Lib-Dems. Labour has the most to gain from all councilors standing: most of the 2021 Tory wave councilors are in Letchworth wards won by Labour in 2022 and 2023. Though holding every current ward after some less-than favorable changes, denying the Lib-Dems ground, and netting seven seats to take the majority is a difficult albeit not impossible proposition.

Welwyn Hatfield to the immediate south is a similar situation on paper, in practice power is likely to shift. The Conservatives are the largest group, but the Lib-Dems lead a coalition administration with Labour. Both of these things though are the product of 2021. In 2022 and 2023 both Labour and the Lib-Dems each won the six wards to the Conservative’s four, with every ward voted the exact same both years. In 2021 though the Tories swept 14 or 16 wards. If 2022 and 2023 repeat themselves the council ties at 18 councilors each for the Lib-Dems and Labour, followed by 12 Tories. Which would be a complex situation. Complicating matters is the Greens, who at their launch stated they wanted to target wards in Welwyn Hatfield.

Southend-on-Sea is a mostly dichotomous council, but the Lib-Dems, the Greens, and Indies all have a presence. Over the last decade the council has bounced between administrations backed by the two leading parties. 2023 for example saw Labour net one seat versus the Tories and top the overall vote, but the reshuffling within the other groups allowed the Conservatives to form their own administration. This displaced Labour’s coalition that had governed since 2019. Like so many other places thought, the 2021 wave is what protects the Tories. If the 2022 or 2023 results were repeated Labour would pick up 4 wards, and the Tories lose 5 to 6. Labour could very easily become the largest party (I don’t think this has ever happened here, the Lib-Dems were the beneficiaries of the 90s environment) and form a minority administration.

In terms of complexity, Peterborough stands out among councils up this cycle. Two localist groups, Independents, and both the Lib-Dems and Greens have decent cohorts. The Conservatives only hold their position as the largest group with about 35% of councilors after mass defections and suspensions almost a year ago. This majority is really only held in place cause the Tories won 14 of 20 wards during the 2021 wave. Labour may make gains and become the largest party for the first time in 25 years thanks to the Tory infighting, but further fragmentation would be a better description of the likely council outcome.

Finally, there is the two councils dominated by alternative groupings. In Rochford there is a divide between the Residents association and the Independents, but both still work with the Lib-Dems against the Tories. Among the councilors up the Independents are overrepresented, with the Localists and Lib-Dems underrepresented compared to past results. So the Conservatives could very well make gains. They got kicked out in 2023 though off a local backlash to local issues, and that could keep the Tories from threatening the coalition.

In Castle Point almost every councilor is in a localist group: either the well-established Canvey Island Independent Party who hold most seats on the island and want their own council, and The People's Independent Party which formed after 2022 and won all but one ward on the northern mainland in 2023. Even here in safe Tory territory the localists thanked their victory to disappointment with the national government. Since all the remaining Conservative councilors are up thanks to boundary changes, the PIP could theoretically win a majority off repeating their mainland sweep. Or they could lose control to a Tory rebound off local issues.
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JimJamUK
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« Reply #69 on: April 07, 2024, 01:34:10 PM »

RE the Cambridge Congestion Charge, the Tory vote doubled in 2023 and seemed to come more from Labour than the Lib Dems. They actually gained a (working class) seat a couple of months later. I assume the anger will have subsided enough that they’ll fall back quite a bit, but the change or resilience of their vote could lead to some funny results.
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Alcibiades
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« Reply #70 on: April 08, 2024, 09:44:02 AM »

They currently have 20 councillors, but there are two vacant seats which were both theirs, so effectively they need three gains to get to 25 out of 48. Oxford elects by halves, so there are 24 seats up, plus a second seat in Blackbird Leys because of the vacancy. (The other vacant seat would have been up anyway.)

Labour seat up (12 wards, 13 seats): Blackbird Leys (2), Carfax & Jericho, Churchill, Headington Hill & Northway, Hinksey Park, Littlemore, Lye Valley, Marston, Osney & St Thomas, St Clement's, Temple Cowley, Walton Manor.

Formerly Labour seat held by defector up (5): Barton & Sandhills, Cowley, Holywell, Northfield Brook, Rose Hill & Iffley.

Lib Dem seat up (5): Cutteslowe & Sunnymead, Headington, Quarry & Risinghurst, Summertown, Wolvercote.

Green seat up (2): Donnington, St Mary's.

So it looks like the answer is yes, as long as the defectors don't get much electoral traction and Labour take most of their seats back. There is, however, another point: two of those Labour defences (Marston and Osney & St Thomas) were won by Greens in 2022, so those seats are vulnerable, and the Greens will also fancy their chances at the ex-Labour seat in the very studenty Holywell ward. Independents have also got some respectable vote shares in Oxford recently (indeed one of the Independents not up this year was elected as such) so I don't think it's a done deal.

As an update on this now that the nominations for Oxford have been released: only one of the Labour defectors out of the five whose seats are up this year is running for re-election, in the peripheral, working-class ward of Barton and Sandhills. So, as you said, inasmuch as Labour have anything to worry about, it will likely be the Greens.

Quote
NB the registered political party called the Oxford Independent Alliance do not appear to be connected to the existing Independent councillors, including the "Oxford Socialist Independents" and the "Independent Group".

This is correct: rather, they very much seem like a classic ‘local party for local people’-style outfit; many of their candidates are small business owners, and their most distinctive policy stance seems to be opposition to the LTNs.
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YL
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« Reply #71 on: April 08, 2024, 11:27:37 AM »

Sheffield's Labour split is of a different nature to the others, as it's nothing to do with Gaza and the main rebel group isn't particularly from the left of the party. Only two of them were up for election this year and one of them is standing down, but the other, Tony Damms, who has represented Southey Green/Southey since 1987, is standing as an Independent.

The one Tory councillor is not defending his seat, and there is only one Reform UK candidate, but three from Heritage, another UKIP splinter. There are a lot of TUSC candidates; indeed they're standing in every ward but one, and they've explicitly endorsed an "anti-cuts and pro-Gaza" independent in that ward (Darnall).
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JimJamUK
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« Reply #72 on: April 08, 2024, 11:53:52 AM »

There are a lot of TUSC candidates; indeed they're standing in every ward but one, and they've explicitly endorsed an "anti-cuts and pro-Gaza" independent in that ward (Darnall).
On that note, TUSC sound fairly pro-Galloway these days and I suspect they will come to some sort of accommodation for the forthcoming general election. Given they (and other minor far left parties) have largely presented themselves as progressive (immigration, LGBT etc), you have to wonder if there will be a bit of friction towards such alliances.
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CrabCake
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« Reply #73 on: April 08, 2024, 04:00:47 PM »

The fact that reform are only standing in 12% of wards, aren't standing in most metro mayors where they potentially have a base and are only standing in 2 PCC's aren't a great boost for theories that the party is anything more than an external pressure group on the Tories.
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Oryxslayer
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« Reply #74 on: April 08, 2024, 08:04:11 PM »

The overall numbers on council candidates:



And the Police Commissioners:

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