Elections took place in 248 local councils in England on 2 May 2019. This Insight takes a look at the results.

The results

The table below shows council control following the past four comparable sets of local elections. This includes all councils, including the ones that did not have elections on 2 May.

A table showing English council control immediately after the 2019 local elections.

Among councils with elections, 161 did not change hands compared with the situation immediately after the 2015 local elections. There were 87 councils where a new party took control or no party gained overall control.

Council control in England

The map below shows who now controls the councils that were voting; councils without elections are shaded light grey. If you hover over the map, you will see the name of the council, along with a description of the election result, for example, Conservative gain from No Overall Control. There is also an indicator showing the broad political composition of the council.

Sources: data collected from local council websites, BBC.

What do the results mean?

Commentators will be asking what the winners and losers tell us about the national mood. It’s notoriously difficult to compare local election results to previous local elections though, which limits what we can extrapolate from these results to form a national picture.

In 2018, a different set of council seats was up for election. In principle, the seats up for election this year were last up for election in 2015, but boundary changes in several local authorities mean that this was not the case in practice. Following boundary changes, councils must elect all their councillors, even if they normally only elect half or a third. Also the total number of seats in some councils has changed.

Another confounding factor is the national electoral cycle: the 2015 local elections took place on the same day as a general election, while we are now roughly in the middle of a Parliament (assuming the next general election will take place in 2022 as per the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act).

We will take a closer look at the results of the 2019 local elections in a longer briefing paper, coming soon. Subscribe to our research alerts to get our election analysis delivered straight to your inbox.

Further reading

About the author: Elise Uberoi is a researcher at the House of Commons Library, specialising in social and general statistics.