143 councils in England held local elections on 6 May 2021, along with some that held by-elections to fill seats that had fallen vacant. This included councils that were due to hold elections this year anyway, and also those where elections had been scheduled for 2020 and postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

4,732 councillors were elected across England – including by-elections, the total was 4,995, covering 4,117 wards and electoral districts.

Five local mayors were also elected, and there were three local referendums about the way councils were governed.

Council results by party

In the 143 councils in England that held local elections, the results by party were as follows:

  • The Conservatives ended up in control of 63 of these councils, a net gain of 11 compared with the previous scheduled election for each council. The party lost control of three councils (to no overall control), held 49, and gained 14 (three from Labour and 11 that were previously in no overall control).
  • The Labour Party won 44 councils, a net loss of 10. Of the 10 councils they lost, three went to the Conservatives and seven to no overall control. They did not gain any councils.
  • The Liberal Democrats won seven councils, a net gain of one. They lost no councils, held six, and gained one (from no overall control).
  • 29 councils were in no overall control, down by two There were 12 councils where a party gained enough seats to take control, and another 10 where a party that did have a majority lost it but no other party had enough seats to take over.
  • Three councils changed from one party’s control to another: Amber Valley, Harlow and Southampton all went from Labour to Conservative control.

Councillors by party

Adding up the councillors across all of these councils, the totals for each party were as follows:

  • The Conservatives won 2,345 seats, 50% of those up for election. This was a net gain of 234 compared with the results of the previous scheduled election for each council.
  • The Labour Party won 1,345 seats, 28% of those up for election, giving a net loss of 326.
  • The Liberal Democrats won 588 seats, 12% of those up for election, giving a net gain of eight.
  • The Green Party won 151 seats, 3% of those up for election, giving a net gain of 88.
  • Other parties and independent candidates won 303 seats, 6% of those up for election.

The proportion of seats won by each party in councils holding only by-elections was fairly similar. Including these as well, the Conservatives won 2,500 seats, Labour won 1,407, the Liberal Democrats won 607, the Green Party won 157, and other parties and independents won 335.


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