United Kingdom local elections, 2004

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United Kingdom local elections, 2004
United Kingdom
2003 ←
10 June 2004
→ 2005

36 metropolitan district councils
41 unitary authorities
89 shire district councils
  Majority party Minority party Third party
  Michael Howard 1099 cropped.jpg Tony Blair.JPG Charles kennedy feb 2009.jpg
Leader Michael Howard Tony Blair Charles Kennedy
Party Conservative Labour Liberal Democrat
Leader since 6 November 2003 21 July 1994 9 August 1999
Percentage 37 30 21
Councils 51 39 9
Councils +/- Increase13 Decrease8 Decrease2
Councillors 1,714 2,251 1,279
Councillors +/- Increase288 Decrease464 Increase123

The United Kingdom local elections of 2004 were held on 10 June, as part of the 2004 set of elections along with the European elections and the London mayoral and Assembly elections.

The councils of all the metropolitan boroughs in England and all the principal areas of Wales were all up for re-election, along with many other district and unitary authorities throughout England. No local elections were held in Scotland.

They were the first since the election of Michael Howard to the leadership of the Conservative Party. Howard was looking for a good result in the election to confirm that the Conservatives were back on the road to being able to seriously consider winning the next general election.

Early results confirmed that the Labour Party was having a bad time. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said that, "Iraq was a cloud, or indeed a shadow, over these elections. I am not saying we haven't had a kicking. It's not a great day for Labour".

However the Conservatives were not making many of the gains that would have indicated a complete change of electoral fortune. The national equivalent share of the vote in the election was found by academics Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher to be 37% to the Conservatives, 27% to the Liberal Democrats and 26% to Labour. For one of the two major parties to come third in local elections was unheard of in the post-1945 period, let alone for a governing party with such a large majority to come third.

Even in the North, Labour's traditional heartland, Labour did not do too well, losing control of Doncaster, Leeds, Newcastle and St Helens. However, they did pick up several councils, notably Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taff from Plaid Cymru in Wales.

Despite an increase in their vote and number of councillors, the Liberal Democrats saw a net loss of councils to NOC. The loss to the Conservatives of Eastbourne was in a single-seat by-election. This was partially offset by victories in Newcastle and Pendle.

The British National Party made a net gain of four seats, and held 14. This left them with a total 21 councillors in the country, including six in Burnley and four in Bradford. In the wards they contested, they averaged 16.1% of the vote.

England[edit]

Metropolitan boroughs[edit]

Council Previous control Result Details
Barnsley Labour Labour hold Details
Birmingham No overall control No overall control hold Details
Bolton No overall control No overall control hold Details
Bradford No overall control No overall control hold Details
Bury Labour Labour hold Details
Calderdale No overall control No overall control hold Details
Coventry No overall control No overall control hold Details
Doncaster Labour No overall control gain Details
Dudley No overall control Conservative gain Details
Gateshead Labour Labour hold Details
Kirklees No overall control No overall control hold Details
Knowsley Labour Labour hold Details
Leeds Labour No overall control gain Details
Liverpool Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrat hold Details
Manchester Labour Labour hold Details
Newcastle-upon-Tyne Labour Liberal Democrat gain Details
North Tyneside No overall control No overall control hold Details
Oldham Labour Labour hold Details
Rochdale No overall control No overall control hold Details
Rotherham Labour Labour hold Details
St Helens Labour No overall control gain Details
Salford Labour Labour hold Details
Sandwell Labour Labour hold Details
Sefton No overall control No overall control hold Details
Sheffield Labour Labour hold Details
Solihull Conservative Conservative hold Details
South Tyneside Labour Labour hold Details
Stockport Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrat hold Details
Sunderland Labour Labour hold Details
Tameside Labour Labour hold Details
Trafford No overall control Conservative gain Details
Wakefield Labour Labour hold Details
Walsall No overall control Conservative gain Details
Wigan Labour Labour hold Details
Wirral No overall control No overall control hold Details
Wolverhampton Labour Labour hold Details

Unitary authorities[edit]

Whole council up for election[edit]

Council Previous control Result Details
Blackburn with Darwen Labour Labour hold Details
Halton Labour Labour hold Details
Hartlepool No overall control Labour gain Details
Peterborough No overall control Conservative gain Details
Reading Labour Labour hold Details
Slough Labour No overall control gain Details
Thurrock Labour Conservative gain Details
Warrington Labour Labour hold Details
Wokingham Conservative Conservative hold Details

One third of council up for election[edit]

Council Previous control Result Details
Derby No overall control No overall control hold Details
Kingston-upon-Hull No overall control No overall control hold Details
Milton Keynes Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrat hold Details
North East Lincolnshire No overall control No overall control hold Details
Plymouth Labour Labour hold Details
Portsmouth No overall control No overall control hold Details
Southampton No overall control No overall control hold Details
Southend-on-Sea Conservative Conservative hold Details
Stoke-on-Trent No overall control Labour gain Details
Swindon No overall control Conservative gain Details

District councils[edit]

Whole council up for election[edit]

Council Previous control Result Details
Adur Conservative Conservative hold Details
Broadland Conservative Conservative hold Details
Cambridge Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrat hold Details
Crawley Labour Labour hold Details
Great Yarmouth Conservative Conservative hold Details
Huntingdonshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
Norwich Liberal Democrat No overall control gain Details
Penwith No overall control No overall control hold Details
Redditch No overall control Labour gain Details
South Cambridgeshire No overall control No overall control hold Details
Weymouth & Portland No overall control No overall control hold Details
Worcester Conservative Conservative hold Details
Worthing No overall control Conservative gain Details
Wyre Forest No overall control No overall control hold Details

Half of council up for election[edit]

Council Previous control Result Details
Cheltenham Liberal Democrat No overall control gain Details
Fareham Conservative Conservative hold Details
Gosport No overall control No overall control hold Details
Hastings Labour No overall control gain Details
Nuneaton & Bedworth Labour Labour hold Details
Oxford Labour No overall control gain Details

One third of council up for election[edit]

Council Previous control Result Details
Amber Valley Conservative Conservative hold Details
Barrow-in-Furness Labour Labour hold Details
Basildon Conservative Conservative hold Details
Basingstoke & Deane No overall control No overall control hold Details
Bassetlaw Labour No overall control gain Details
Bedford No overall control No overall control hold Details
Brentwood No overall control Conservative gain Details
Broxbourne Conservative Conservative hold Details
Burnley Labour No overall control gain Details
Cannock Chase No overall control No overall control hold Details
Carlisle No overall control No overall control hold Details
Castle Point Conservative Conservative hold Details
Cherwell Conservative Conservative hold Details
Chester No overall control No overall control hold Details
Chorley No overall control No overall control hold Details
Colchester No overall control No overall control hold Details
Congleton Conservative Conservative hold Details
Craven No overall control No overall control hold Details
Crewe & Nantwich No overall control No overall control hold Details
Daventry Conservative Conservative hold Details
Eastbourne Liberal Democrat Conservative gain Details
Eastleigh Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrat hold Details
Ellesmere Port & Neston Labour Labour hold Details
Elmbridge RA RA hold Details
Epping Forest No overall control No overall control hold Details
Exeter No overall control No overall control hold Details
Gloucester No overall control No overall controlhold Details
Harlow No overall control No overall control hold Details
Harrogate Conservative Conservative hold Details
Hart Conservative Conservative hold Details
Havant Conservative Conservative hold Details
Hertsmere Conservative Conservative hold Details
Hyndburn Conservative Conservative hold Details
Ipswich Labour No overall control gain Details
Lincoln Labour Labour hold Details
Macclesfield Conservative Conservative hold Details
Maidstone No overall control No overall control hold Details
Mole Valley No overall control No overall control hold Details
Newcastle-under-Lyme No overall control Labour gain Details
North Hertfordshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
Pendle No overall control Liberal Democrat gain Details
Preston No overall control No overall control hold Details
Purbeck Conservative Conservative hold Details
Reigate and Banstead Conservative Conservative hold Details
Rochford Conservative Conservative hold Details
Rossendale No overall control Conservative gain Details
Rugby No overall control No overall control hold Details
Runnymede Conservative Conservative hold Details
Rushmoor Conservative Conservative hold Details
St Albans No overall control No overall control hold Details
Shrewsbury & Atcham Conservative Conservative hold Details
South Bedfordshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
South Lakeland No overall control No overall control hold Details
Stevenage Labour Labour hold Details
Stratford-on-Avon Conservative Conservative hold Details
Stroud Conservative Conservative hold Details
Swale Conservative Conservative hold Details
Tamworth Labour Conservative gain Details
Tandridge Conservative Conservative hold Details
Three Rivers Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrat hold Details
Tunbridge Wells Conservative Conservative hold Details
Watford Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrat hold Details
Waveney No overall control No overall control hold Details
Welwyn Hatfield Conservative Conservative hold Details
West Lancashire Conservative Conservative hold Details
West Lindsey No overall control Conservative gain Details
West Oxfordshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
Winchester Liberal Democrat No overall control gain Details
Woking No overall control No overall control hold Details

Wales[edit]

Unitary authorities[edit]

Council Previous control Result Details
Anglesey Independent Independent hold Details
Blaenau Gwent Labour Labour hold Details
Bridgend Labour No overall control gain Details
Caerphilly Plaid Cymru Labour gain Details
Cardiff Labour No overall control gain Details
Carmarthenshire No overall control No overall control hold Details
Ceredigion No overall control No overall control hold Details
Conwy No overall control No overall control hold Details
Denbighshire No overall control No overall control hold Details
Flintshire Labour Labour hold Details
Gwynedd Plaid Cymru Plaid Cymru Details
Merthyr Tydfil No overall control Labour gain Details
Monmouthshire No overall control Conservative gain Details
Neath Port Talbot Labour Labour hold Details
Newport Labour Labour hold Details
Pembrokeshire Independent Independent hold Details
Powys Independent Independent hold Details
Rhondda Cynon Taff Plaid Cymru Labour gain Details
Swansea Labour No overall control gain Details
Torfaen Labour Labour hold Details
Vale of Glamorgan No overall control No overall control hold Details
Wrexham No overall control No overall control hold Details

References[edit]