United Kingdom local elections, 2013

United Kingdom local elections, 2013
United Kingdom
2 May 2013

35 councils in England, 1 council in Wales, 2 directly-elected mayors
  First party Second party Third party
Leader David Cameron Ed Miliband Nick Clegg
Party Conservative Labour Liberal Democrat
Leader since 6 December 2005 25 September 2010 18 December 2007
Last election 31%[1][lower-alpha 1] 38%[1] 16%[1]
Seats won 1,116 538 352
Seat change Decrease 335 Increase 291 Decrease 124
Popular vote 25% 29% 14%
Swing Decrease 6% Decrease 9% Decrease 2%

  Fourth party
Leader Nigel Farage
Party UKIP
Leader since 5 November 2010
Last election not given[2]
Seats won 147
Seat change Increase 139
Popular vote 22%[3]

Map showing results of English local elections, 2013. Black represents No Overall Control, white represents areas that did not hold an election, blue represents the Conservative Party and red represents the Labour Party. Areas shown in grey are not part of the United Kingdom.

The 2013 United Kingdom local elections took place on Thursday 2 May 2013.[4] Elections were held in 35 English councils: all 27 non-metropolitan county councils and eight unitary authorities, and in one Welsh unitary authority. Direct mayoral elections took place in Doncaster and North Tyneside. These elections last took place on the 4 June 2009 at the same time as the 2009 European Parliament Elections, except for County Durham, Northumberland and the Anglesey where elections last took place in 2008.

On the same day a parliamentary by-election took place in the North East constituency of South Shields following the departure of David Miliband, with the Labour Party retaining the seat.

Criteria to vote

All registered electors (British, Irish, Commonwealth and European Union citizens) aged 18 or over were entitled to vote in the local elections. Those temporarily away from their ordinary address (for example, away working, on holiday, in student accommodation or in hospital) were also entitled to vote in the local elections,[5] as were those who had moved abroad and registered as overseas electors.[6][7]

Record choice

The UK Independence Party and the Green Party stood record numbers of candidates.[8]


Party Councils Councillors
Change Total Change Total
Conservative -10 18 -335 1,116
Labour +3 3 +291 538
Liberal Democrat 0 0 -124 352
UKIP 0 0 +139 147
Green 0 0 +5 22
Plaid Cymru 0 0 +6 12
Residents 0 0 +2 12
Mebyon Kernow 0 0 +1 4
Liberal 0 0 +1 3
Health Concern 0 0 0 2
BNP 0 0 -3 0
Independent/Other 0 0 +24 166
No overall control +9 14

Labour and UKIP made substantial gains, but the Conservatives won the most councillors and retained control of most councils. The BBC published projected national vote shares, adjusting for which regions are holding local elections and extrapolating to the national situation. These were Labour 29%, Conservatives 25%, UKIP 23% and the Liberal Democrats 14%. This is the lowest figure for the Conservatives since 1982 and the lowest ever figure for the Liberal Democrats. It is also the first time that none of the three main parties in the Commons has scored 30% or more.[9] Rallings & Thrasher separately calculated a projected national vote share of Labour 29%, Conservatives 26%, UKIP 22% and the Liberal Democrats 13%.[10]

The actual votes received were Conservative 34.3%, Labour 21.1%, UKIP 19.9%, Lib Dem 13.8% and Green 3.5%.[11]

Overall, in England, the Conservatives saw 1116 councillors elected (down 335), Labour 538 (up 291), the Liberal Democrats 352 (down 124), independents 165 (up 24), UKIP 147 (up 139), the Greens 22 (up 5), Residents Associations 12 (up 2), Mebyon Kernow 4 (up 1), the Liberal Party 3 (up 1) and Independent Community and Health Concern 2 (no change). The BNP won no seats (down 3).[12]


Non-metropolitan county councils

All 27 county councils for areas with a two-tier structure of local governance had all of their seats up for election. These were first-past-the-post elections in a mixture of single-member and multi-member electoral divisions.

Council Previous control Result Details
Buckinghamshire Conservative Conservative Details
Cambridgeshire Conservative No overall control (Conservative Minority) Details
Cumbria No overall control No overall control (Labour/Lib Dem Coalition) Details
Derbyshire Conservative Labour Details
Devon Conservative Conservative Details
Dorset Conservative Conservative Details
East Sussex Conservative No overall control (Conservative Minority) Details
Essex Conservative Conservative Details
Gloucestershire Conservative No overall control (Conservative Minority) Details
Hampshire Conservative Conservative Details
Hertfordshire Conservative Conservative Details
Kent Conservative Conservative Details
Lancashire Conservative No overall control (Labour Minority w/ Lib Dem Support) Details
Leicestershire Conservative Conservative Details
Lincolnshire Conservative No overall control (Conservative/Lib Dem Coalition) Details
Norfolk Conservative No overall control (Labour/UKIP/LibDem Minority w/Green & Ind Support) Details
North Yorkshire Conservative Conservative Details
Northamptonshire Conservative Conservative Details
Nottinghamshire Conservative Labour Details
Oxfordshire Conservative No overall control (Conservative Minority) Details
Somerset Conservative Conservative Details
Staffordshire Conservative Conservative Details
Suffolk Conservative Conservative Details
Surrey Conservative Conservative Details
Warwickshire Conservative No overall control[13] (Conservative Minority) Details
West Sussex Conservative Conservative Details
Worcestershire Conservative Conservative Details

†The Conservatives won control of the council in the 2009 elections but lost their majority during its term.

Unitary authorities

Eight single-tier unitary authorities held elections. Seven of these had all of their seats up for election, whilst one, Bristol, elected a third of its seats. These are first-past-the-post elections in a mixture of single-member and multi-member wards.

Council Proportion up
for election
Previous control Result Details
Bristol 1/3 No overall control No overall control Details
Cornwall All No overall control No overall control[14] (Lib Dem/Independent Coalition) Details
Durham All Labour Labour Details
Isle of Wight All Conservative No overall control (Island Independents Minority) Details
Isles of Scilly All Independent Independent Details
Northumberland All No overall control No overall control (Labour Minority) Details
Shropshire All Conservative Conservative Details
Wiltshire All Conservative Conservative Details

Mayoral elections

Two elections for directly-elected mayors were held, who act as council leader. These are elected using the Supplementary Vote system. Hartlepool's referendum in November 2012 resulted in the post being abolished from May 2013.[15]

Local Authority Incumbent Mayor Result Details
Doncaster Peter Davies (Independent)[16] Ros Jones (Labour) Details
North Tyneside Linda Arkley (Conservative) Norma Redfearn (Labour) Details
Map showing the results of the elections in Wales
  No election held


In Wales, a single council, the Isle of Anglesey, was up for election. This election was postponed in 2012, when all other Welsh councils were elected, in order to allow an electoral review to take place for the council.[17]

Council Previous control Result Details
Isle of Anglesey No overall control No overall control Details

Elections not scheduled to be held in 2013 (other than by-elections)

See also


  1. All vote shares in the infobox are projected national vote shares calculated by the BBC.


  1. 1 2 3 Local elections 2012, by Feargal McGuinness & Edmund Tetteh, House of Commons Library Research Paper 12/27, 21 May 2012
  2. All other parties collectively got 13%; Local elections 2012, by Feargal McGuinness & Edmund Tetteh, House of Commons Library Research Paper 12/27, 21 May 2012
  3. ""Local Elections 2013", by Nicholas Duckworth, House of Commons Research Paper 13/30". Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  4. "Elections and electoral arrangements". communities.gov.uk. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  5. "The Representation of the People (Form of Canvass) (England and Wales) Regulations 2006, Schedule Part 1". Legislation.gov.uk. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 August 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  7. "I have two homes. Can I register at both addresses?". The Electoral Commission. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  8. Channel 4 News, 1 May 2013
  9. "BBC News - LIVE: Vote 2013 results and reaction". Bbc.co.uk. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  10. Sunday Times, 5 May 2013
  11. "Final vote tally from last month's locals shows UKIP in second place in seats contested". politicalbetting.com. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  12. "English council results". bbc news. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  13. Sian Grzeszczyk (2013-04-29). "BBC News - Warwickshire elections 2013: Conservatives lose control". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  14. "Cornwall Council". Cornwall.gov.uk. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  15. Mulholland, Hélène (16 November 2012). "Mayor H'Angus the Monkey finally loses his Hartlepool habitat". The Guardian. London: 16 November 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  16. "BBC News - Doncaster mayor quits English Democrats 'because of BNP'". Bbc.co.uk. 2013-02-05. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  17. "Anglesey council election postponed for year to 2013". BBC Sport. BBC. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
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