Local Election Predictions 2023

The May 2023 local elections will have over 8,000 council seats up for election across England. This will be the first electoral test for the Conservatives under the leadership of Rishi Sunak. Given the national poll ratings, Labour and the Liberal Democrats will be looking to see if they can make gains in local councils.

Electoral Calculus, in collaboration with Find Out Now has run a large-scale regression (MRP) poll to estimate how voters in each ward and council will be likely to vote.

Local Elections May 2023, Districts up for election
Districts up for election 2023  Map: Open Street Map, Boundaries: Ordnance Survey

Our analysis uses modern regression methods, and fieldwork asked respondents specifically about their local (rather than general) election voting intention. This encourages more accurate responses, with better estimates for the Liberal Democrats, smaller parties and independents.

We ran a similar MRP poll last year which correctly predicted the winning party in over 80pc of the district and unitary councils up for election. This included hard-to-predict districts such as Westminster and Wandsworth (both Labour gains).

This year, Labour and the Liberal Democrats will be hoping to pick up council seats from disaffected Conservatives, and the Conservatives will be hoping to hang on in many of their rural heartlands.

Initial analysis suggests that Labour could be looking to gain majority control of eleven councils:

Our predictions can be used by local parties to help target their campaigning on the wards which are marginal or crucial to getting or keeping control of the council.

These predictions take full account of the new ward boundaries in forty-nine councils. We have carefully calculated how people in these new wards would probably have voted in the 2019 local elections, to provide a baseline for making the predictions for 2023. These implied 2019 results are also available if required.

Predictions are now available for purchase on a whole-district or ward-by-ward basis. Please get in touch for more information and prices by using our contact form or email.