Key local election and mayoral results to watch for as votes are counted in England

The local elections are seen as Rishi Sunak's final test before the nation heads towards a general election -Credit:Toby Melville/PA Wire
The local elections are seen as Rishi Sunak's final test before the nation heads towards a general election -Credit:Toby Melville/PA Wire

With a general election right around the corner, all eyes will be on Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer as the results of the local and mayoral elections are revealed throughout Friday and the weekend.

Voters who cast their ballots on Thursday will be waking up on Friday keen to learn how the make up of their local authorities might have changed. Votes for new councillors were cast in 107 local authority areas in England and Wales, while 11 mayors are being selected alongside dozens of police and crime commissioners.

Once the clock strikes 10pm tonight, ballot boxes are sealed up and the counting can begin. Some councils will start tallying up the votes immediately, declaring their winners overnight, while others will wait until Friday daytime, or the weekend, to count the ballot papers.

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While there may be a long wait to find out the overall picture, some of the first results should give an indication of how much support the major parties have ahead of the general election, which Mr Sunak has suggested will be in the 'second half' of this year.

Forecasts have suggested it could be a bleak night for the Tories, with the party predicted to lose up to half of the council seats they are defending, having lost a third of seats last year.

Ahead of polls opening, chancellor Jeremy Hunt admitted that the party would likely suffer "significant losses". He told Sky News’ Politics Hub: "Tony Blair easily lost those amounts of councillors. And, you know, David Cameron lost hundreds of councillors in the run up to the 2015 general election. So, you know, we are expecting to see significant losses. That often happens in local elections."

Meanwhile Labour looks set to make gains in the local elections, and the party is also hoping to win the parliamentary seat of Blackpool South as a by-election takes place in the Lancashire constituency.

Here are some of the key contests to look out for as the results come in.

Greater Manchester

Three Greater Manchester councils are on a knife-edge and they will all be declaring their results overnight.

Bolton Council is currently under no overall control but Labour have 28 seats and currently lead the authority, having taken it back from the Tories last year. The party is hoping to win enough seats for a majority at the town hall.

Oldham council is currently on a knife-edge with Labour bosses on the brink of losing overall control. Losing just one seat could spell the end of the party's 13-year reign in the borough - although, as the largest party at the town hall, it could end up staying in power.

The Lib Dems have run Stockport under a minority administration for the last two years and are looking to gain a majority this year. With 29 councillors out of 63 in the town hall, they're just a few seats away pushing Labour further out of power in the borough.

West Midlands

Several contests in the West Midlands will be worth watching. Every seat in Dudley is up for grabs and Labour could become the largest party if the Conservatives, who currently have a majority, do particularly badly.

In Solihull and Walsall, a third of seats are being elected, but the Tories could lose overall control of these councils if their vote collapses.

In the mayoral contest, Conservative mayor Andy Street is running for a third term. Opinion polls have suggested it will be a close contest between him and Labour candidate Richard Parker.


Sheffield City Council is likely to remain in no overall control, but could see a three-way tussle between Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens over who ends up the largest party, with a third of seats being contested.

North East

In the North East, the eyes of Westminster will be on the Tees Valley mayoral contest, where Conservative incumbent Ben Houchen is hoping for a third term. His re-election would give a boost to Mr Sunak in what could otherwise be a grim set of polls.

There's also a contest for a new directly-elected mayor of North East England for voters in Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland. This would usually be safe Labour territory, but the party faces a challenge from Independent (ex-Labour) candidate Jamie Driscoll, the current mayor of the North of Tyne area.

Hartlepool in County Durham will also be one to watch in the local elections. The council has a third of its seats up for grabs and it is another key Labour target. It's currently run by a coalition of Conservative and Independents, but Labour are very close to an overall majority.


The Greens are already the largest party in Bristol, but up to now Labour has been running the council through its directly-elected mayor. That position is being abolished, however, giving the Greens a chance to take overall control, helped by the entire council being up for election.


Labour’s Sadiq Khan is running for a historic third term as London mayor - but it could be a close contest.

Westminster will be looking for evidence of how the Conservatives are faring in the capital and to see whether Tory candidate Susan Hall can defy the polls and beat Sadiq Khan.

Elections are also taking place for the London Assembly, and while most of the constituencies are not expected to change hands, a strong Labour performance in the capital could see the party gain the seat of West Central, where the Conservatives are defending a majority of just over 2,000.