Labour set for gains at local elections

First published 18 April 2023, revised 4 May 2023 (08:30)

The headline predictions are:

This analysis has been carried out by Electoral Calculus on the basis of past local election results and aggregated national polling figures. It is not based on new polling fieldwork, but uses national trends to forecast the local elections.

The table shows the predicted vote share, number of seats and councils won by each party. These are compared with the corresponding results from 2019.

 May 2019 Local Elections  May 2023 Prediction Predicted Change

("NOC" means 'no overall control', where no party has a majority of the council seats)

Councils which could change hands

The Conservatives could lose majority control of these sixteen councils:

Though the Conservatives might possibly gain majority control of a couple of councils too:

Labour could gain majority control of eight councils:

New boundaries

As usual, many of the councils have new ward boundaries thanks to the work of the Local Government Boundary Commission. This year, forty-nine councils have new boundaries for the first time. Altogether, sixty councils of the 230 councils up for election have had new boundaries since 2019.

To allow for this, Electoral Calculus has carefully estimated the likely result of the 2019 local elections under these new boundaries. These estimates also allow for by-elections and change of allegiances since 2019.

This provides a consistent benchmark against which to measure changes in public opinion.

Detailed Predictions

Electoral Calculus and Find Out Now have also run a separate large-scale regression (MRP) poll to make more accurate predictions of the likely result in every seat in every ward up for election.

These predictions are available for purchase: click here for details.


Martin Baxter, CEO of Electoral Calculus: "Our prediction suggests that the Conservatives could have a rough time on 4 May. Many of these councils are in Tory heartlands, and they did well there four years ago even under Theresa May. If this prediction is about right, then the national outlook for the Conservatives will be as bad as the current opinion polls suggest."

Electoral Calculus

Electoral Calculus is a political consultancy specialising in quantitative analysis and modelling for electoral and other market research projects. Its pre-poll prediction for the 2019 general election was the most accurate published forecast. It was founded by Martin Baxter, its CEO.

Electoral Calculus is a member of the British Polling Council.