Tories are starting the 2019 elections from a high base (Image from Political Betting website)
This year’s local elections in the UK will be held on Thursday, 2 May 2019. 8,000 seats are being contested across 270 local authority areas in England along with six directly elected mayors and all 11 local councils in Northern Ireland.
The seats up for election were last contested in 2015, except for those areas where electoral boundary reviews have since taken place.
Tory Brexit woes
According to Elections expert Robert Hayward and pollsters ComRes, the Conservatives are set to lose large numbers of councillors if Theresa May fails to get the UK out the EU. Many of the seats up for re-election are in traditional Tory heartlands. But Hayward is predicting it will be the Lib Dems rather than Labour that could emerge as the main beneficiaries.
From speaking to Councillors, candidates and activists on the ground, it certainly appears that the traditional parties, particularly the Conservatives, are having a challenging time on the doorstep. Both Leave and Remain supporters are deeply unhappy with the impasse on Brexit.
Conservatives are also facing a backlash on housing and development issues and Tory Councillors are anticipating significant losses, particularly in areas where Resident or Independent candidates are standing in large numbers.
A rise in independent and resident Councillors and in the number of councils under no-overall control could have a significant impact on Local Plans and planning applications.
Labour is expected to make some gains in the few metropolitan areas featuring in the elections, with Trafford and Calderdale set to turn red, but should be performing substantially better.
Given the Government’s problems on Brexit, UKIP could be expected to make gains, but they are starting from a high base from four years ago and are struggling to field candidates in many areas.
These local elections are set to be the most unpredictable for many years and could have some of the most far reaching consequences for the development industry.
If you would like to talk about what all this means for specific projects and specific councils, please get in touch with the Forty Shillings team on 020 8786 6130 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a list of councils that face all-out elections, click here.
For a list of councils that face elections by thirds, click here.