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Elections were held to 9,335 seats on 279 local councils in England on 7 May 2015, coinciding with the 2015 General Election as well as elections for six directly elected mayors. The Local Elections were comprised of:

• 6,563 seats on 194 shire district councils, 131 of which had all seats up for election and 63 with a third of seats up
• 860 seats on 36 metropolitan borough councils that elect by thirds
• 1,912 seats on 49 unitary authorities, 18 of which had a third of seats up and 31 with all seats up.

Six mayors were also elected in Bedford, Copeland, Leicester, Mansfield, Middlesbrough and Torbay. No local elections were scheduled in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

The Conservatives won or retained control of 163 councils, a net gain of 25, comprising 28 gains and three losses. The party gained control of 25 councils (22 shire districts and 3 unitaries) from No Overall Control (NOC), while two councils were also won from Labour (Amber Valley and Gravesham) and one from the Liberal Democrats (Hinckley and Bosworth). The Conservative Party lost two councils, one to Labour and one to NOC. This represented a net gain for the Conservatives of approximately 348 seats.

Labour won or retained control of 74 councils, a net loss of 5. They won control of a single council from the Conservatives and two from NOC, yet these gains were more than offset by two losses to the Conservatives and a further six councils lost to NOC. Overall this reflected a net loss of 238 seats.

The Liberal Democrats failed to win any councils and retained control of four, losing Hinckley and Bosworth to the Conservatives and three others to NOC. This leaves the party with 6 councils under its control across Great Britain, down from 34 in 2006. On election day they lost 454 seats in net terms.

The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) won or retained 334 seats and gained control of their first council in Thanet. In 2011, when most of the seats contested in 2015 were previously fought, UKIP won 7 seats. The Green Party won or retained 135 seats, an increase relative to the 79 won in 2011. However, the seats lost in Brighton and Hove cost them their minority leadership of the council.

While it is difficult to accurately estimate turnout for the local elections at this stage, they were held alongside the 2015 General Election for which turnout in England stood at 66%. Local election turnout may have differed from this figure given that electorates differ slightly (EU nationals and Members of the House of Lords are eligible to vote in local elections but not parliamentary elections). Results of the 2015 General Election are presented in Library Briefing Paper 7186.


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