UK Local Elections 2018: What happened?


On Thursday, the 2018 UK local elections took place, and there were some rather surprising results. Before the polls opened, everyone was expecting Labour to make significant gains, and for the Conservatives to have a complete collapse around the country. However, there were some very unexpected results. The majority of the seats up for election, were in London and other cities which are already Labour strongholds. The full results are shown below, so go through each party and see if they had a successful night or not!

local election results
BBC published the full results



Jeremy Corbyn was certainly hoping for significant gains throughout the country. The resignation of Amber Rudd following the Windrush Scandal, as well as being the main opposition, would surely mean that they were destined for success? However, it was not to be and Labour did not make nearly enough gains it was expecting. #



They gained only 77 seats, which for an opposition party is rather pathetic, especially when this government is in a vulnerable position. London was a key target form them, but failed to gain Wandsworth or Barnet from the Conservatives. The Anti-Semitism certainly played a massive factor for the vote in Barnet, as this is a prominent Jewish borough.

Nevertheless, Labour still made some gains in London and elsewhere, winning Plymouth council and a scatter of other seats. The question for Labour is whether they can ever get significantly beyond the Conservatives rather than just slightly behind them making insufficient gains.


Theresa May and the Conservatives had a far more positive night than everyone, including her own chairman, had expected. Their London council of Wandsworth was going to be difficult to hold onto, but they managed! They also gained Barnet from No Overall Control, as well as gaining Peterborough. Although they lost 33 seats in the night, this is definitely a result to be proud of.



However, the Conservatives did lose their flagship council of Trafford in the North. This was a valuable council as it was their only urban borough council in the whole of the Northern region.

There was no question that the Conservative vote was helped by the complete collapse and demise of UKIP. The Conservatives must now deliver the Brexit that leave voters wanted, otherwise there will be national uproar and a potential Labour government on the doorstep.

Liberal Democrats:

Sir Vince Cable’s party was undoubtedly the silent winner on Thursday. They gained 4 councils, which is a very impressive result. As well as scoring 16% of the vote, the Liberal Democrats made brilliant gains throughout the country.



The party certainly targetted “remain” voting areas, and that is where they gained all of their council seats. An example of this is South Cambridgeshire, whereby the Conservatives previously had a substantial majority but now just have 11 seats, considering the borough voted over 60% Remain it is no surprise it turned Lib Dem!

The Liberal Democrats are now going to have turn this positive result into success at the next General Election. Everyone acknowledges that this party is remarkable at local campaigning due to their grass routes core, but whether they can ever recover from the tuition fees outrage and their disastrous result in the 2015 General Election, is a very different question.


Gerrad Batten’s party had an absolute nightmare on Thursday; losing all but 3 of their council seats. It was not unexpected considering their leadership crisis and the party’s worry of bankruptcy.



No one would have predicted that UKIP would be on this amount of seats following their amazing success in the local elections prior to the EU referendum. However, even Gerrad Batten said that it was always going to be a tough night for the party. The Party’s General Secretary even compared the party to the “Black Death” implying that has suddenly gone dormant after its previous success.

The party scored less than 1.5% of the vote on Thursday, and there is a worrying sense that members in the party are leaning towards the far-right by now focusing on Islam. It is highly unlikely that UKIP will ever return to their glory days under their previous leader Nigel Farage.


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