United Kingdom local elections, 2006

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United Kingdom local elections, 2006
United Kingdom
2005 ←
4 May 2006
→ 2007

176 English district councils
  First party Second party Third party
  David Cameron Tony Blair.JPG Sir Ming Campbell MP 2008 cropped.jpg
Leader David Cameron Tony Blair Menzies Campbell
Party Conservative Labour Liberal Democrat
Leader since 6 December 2005 21 July 1994 2 March 2006
Last election 40% 28% 25%
Percentage 39% 26% 25%
Swing Decrease1% Decrease2% 0%
Councils 68 30 13
Councils +/- Increase11 Decrease17 Increase1
Councillors 1830 1439 909
Councillors +/- Increase316 Decrease319 Increase2

Local government elections took place in England (only) on Thursday 4 May 2006. Polling stations were open between 7:00 and 22:00.

All London borough council seats were up for election, as well as a third of the seats on each of the metropolitan borough councils, and a third of some unitary authorities and shire districts. Several councils elected half of their seats: these were Adur, Cheltenham, Fareham, Gosport, Hastings, Nuneaton and Bedworth, and Oxford City. Local elections follow a four-year cycle, and the 2006 election was the follow-on from the 2002 elections.

Mayoral contests were held in the London boroughs of Hackney, Lewisham and Newham, and in Watford. Crewe and Nantwich held a referendum on the issue of whether or not to have a directly elected mayor.

Summary of results[edit]

Note:Figures for number of councils and councillors is only in regard to those councils up for election in 2006, and does not include councils not up for election.

Party Councils Councillors
Gain Loss Change Total Gain Loss Change Total
Conservative 14 3 +11 68 +316 1830
Labour 1 18 –17 30 –319 1439
Liberal Democrat 3 2 +1 13 +2 909
Residents Associations 0 0 0 0 –13 35
BNP 0 0 0 0 +27 32
Green 0 0 0 0 +20 29
Respect 0 0 0 0 +13 16
Liberal 0 0 0 0 -2 8
Health Concern 0 0 0 0 +1 5
Christian Peoples 0 0 0 0 3 1 +2 3
Socialist Alternative 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 3
UKIP 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1
Other 0 0 0 0 –50 108
No overall control 18 13 +5 65

Pre-election predictions[edit]

On 7 April, a report produced by the University of Plymouth for Newsnight, based on results of council by-elections in the past three months, suggested that, compared to the 2002 local elections:

  • Labour would increase their national vote share by 2% to 28% but that they would lose around 130 seats.
  • The Conservatives would suffer a decrease in the national vote share of 4% leaving them with 33% and a loss of around 95 seats.
  • The Liberal Democrats would increase their vote share by 2% to 29% and would gain around 190 seats.[2]

This prediction may be seen to be almost entirely inaccurate.

Projected national share[edit]

In an analysis for the Sunday Times, psephologists Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher, of the University of Plymouth, produced an estimate of the national share of the vote. According to their calculations, the parties would have the following share of the vote:

  • Conservative: 39%
  • Labour: 26%
  • Liberal Democrats: 25%
  • Others: 10%

They note that this is estimate not intended to predict the vote share in an actual general election, because voters often vote differently in general elections due to local issues, or to a wish to "fire a shot across the government's bows" without actually removing it.[3]

The BBC had a similar national share prediction, based on the results of 950 key wards:

  • Conservative: 40%
  • LibDem: 27%
  • Labour: 26%
  • Others: 7%[4]

Notable battles[edit]

  • In Birmingham, the Acting Returning Officer announced that the votes in the Kingstanding ward had been incorrectly tallied, incorrectly giving a win to the BNP's Sharon Ebanks, whereas she should have been in third place. The only way in which this result can be corrected is for one of the candidates to raise a petition to the courts; the council has said it will support in any way it can any candidates who wish to raise such a petition.[5]
  • In Crawley, after three recounts, one result showed 500 votes for the Labour candidate and 500 for the Conservative. As per electoral law, the candidates subsequently drew lots. The Conservative candidate Adam G. Brown won, giving his party a majority and switching the council from Labour to Conservative control for the first time since 1971.
  • Another count was tied in St Albans, this time between Conservative and Lib Dem candidates on 1131 votes each. The candidates drew lots with the Lib Dems winning, giving them a majority on the local council.
  • In Chester the Conservatives were in third place in one ward, with around only 20% of the votes (in 2004), however they managed to win the seat with a majority of around 20%, and a 45% vote share. Their vote increased by over 110%, and was believed to be one of the largest increases in vote share (as a percentage) in the country.

Campaign launches[edit]

United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) launched their local election campaign on 28 March 2006,[6] where they put forward their policies for the local elections which included: the reduction of council tax by 50%; local binding referendums on major issues; and giving councils control of business rates and letting them receive the proceeds from stamp duty.

The Liberal Democrats' campaign launch was held on 3 April 2006[7] and was led by Sir Menzies Campbell MP.[7]

Labour's campaign for the local elections was launched on 5 April 2006[8] and was led by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair MP (Lab, Sedgefield) and the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Blair's expected successor, Gordon Brown MP (Lab, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath) in the wake of rumours of a split between the two over when Blair should stand down as PM.[9]

Respect launched their election manifesto on 10 April 2006 calling the local elections a referendum on New Labour.[10]

The Greens launched their campaign on 11 April 2006, having already announced that 1,300 candidates will be standing across the country.[11][12]

The BNP launched their election manifesto on 14 April 2006. Soon after, Margaret Hodge, the Labour Employment Minister, told the press that 8 out of 10 white voters in her east London constituency of Barking admitted being tempted to vote for the BNP, hinting that the party's share of council seats was set to increase.[13]

The Conservatives launched their campaign on 18 April. David Cameron, Eric Pickles, Caroline Spelman and Peter Ainsworth fronted a press conference that focused on environmental issues.[14]

Timeline[edit]

Date Event
28 March UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party) launch local election campaign.[6]
29 March The London Communications Agency issue a study suggesting that the Conservatives would gain a minimum of six London Borough councils.[15]
3 April The Liberal Democrats launch local election campaign.[16]
4 April Independent anti-war strategic voting web site launched in London.[17]
5 April Labour launch their local election campaign.[18]

Conservatives offer a chance for "ordinary people" to appear in the local election broadcast.[19]

10 April Respect launch their local election campaign.[10]
14 April The British National Party launch their election campaign.
18 April The first party election broadcast by the Labour Party depicts David Cameron MP (Con, Witney) as a chamleon and even launch a website to promote the idea.[20] See also: Dave the Chameleon.
19 April The Conservative Election Broadcast (using the tagline "Vote Blue Go Green") was presented by people responding to the Conservatives request for "ordinary people" as reported on 5 April 2006.
20 April The Liberal Democrat Election Broadcast recounted the election of Menzies Campbell MP as leader.
24 April The Green Party Election Broadcast asks voters to use their multi member vote to elect Greens onto their local council.
26 April In a day described by the tabloid press as "New Labour's Black Wednesday", three cabinet ministers have three different 'crises' on the same day.
27 April Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell MP challenges the Conservatives over their 'Vote Blue Go Green' campaign.
28 April Local Government Minister David Miliband MP urges voters to "think local" rather than on national issues.
2 May The Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats criticise the Labour Party for taking credit for London's successful Olympic bid in their Party Election Broadcast.

The West Midlands Police confirm their presence at Birmingham polling stations on election day amid fears of widespread ballot fraud.

3 May The final PMQs before the election sees party leaders debating national scandals and Labour Party insiders predicting the worst results since 1968.[21]
4 May The Labour Party acknowledges it could face the loss of former strongholds and even slip into third place nationally in local government numbers.[22]

Council results[edit]

(Conservative councils in blue, Labour in red, Liberal Democrats in yellow, No Overall Control in grey.)

London boroughs[edit]

Council Previous control Result Details
Barking and Dagenham Labour Labour hold Details
Barnet Conservative Conservative hold Details
Bexley Labour Conservative gain Details
Brent Labour No overall control gain Details
Bromley Conservative Conservative hold Details
Camden Labour No overall control gain Details
Croydon Labour Conservative gain Details
Ealing Labour Conservative gain Details
Croydon Labour Conservative gain Details
Enfield Conservative Conservative hold Details
Greenwich Labour Labour hold Details
Hackney Labour Labour hold Details
Hammersmith and Fulham Labour Conservative gain Details
Haringey Labour Labour hold Details
Harrow No overall control Conservative gain Details
Havering No overall control Conservative gain Details
Hillingdon No overall control Conservative gain Details
Hounslow Labour No overall control gain Details
Islington Liberal Democrat No overall control gain Details
Kensington and Chelsea Conservative Conservative hold Details
Kingston upon Thames Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrat hold Details
Lambeth No overall control Labour gain Details
Lewisham Labour No overall control gain Details
Merton Labour No overall control gain Details
Newham Labour Labour hold Details
Redbridge Conservative Conservative hold Details
Richmond upon Thames Conservative Liberal Democrat gain Details
Southwark No overall control No overall control hold Details
Sutton Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrat hold Details
Tower Hamlets Labour Labour hold Details
Waltham Forest No overall control No overall control hold Details
Wandsworth Conservative Conservative hold Details
Westminster Conservative Conservative hold Details

Metropolitan boroughs[edit]

One third of the seats in all 36 Metropolitan Boroughs were up for election.

Council Previous control New Control 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 No overall control gain Details
Calderdale No overall control No overall control hold Details
Coventry No overall control Conservative gain Details
Doncaster No overall control No overall control hold Details
Dudley Conservative Conservative hold Details
Gateshead Labour Labour hold Details
Kirklees No overall control No overall control hold Details
Knowsley Labour Labour hold Details
Leeds No overall control No overall control hold Details
Liverpool Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrat hold Details
Manchester Labour Labour hold Details
Newcastle upon Tyne Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrat hold 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 No overall control No overall control hold 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 Conservative Conservative hold Details
Wakefield Labour Labour hold Details
Walsall Conservative Conservative hold Details
Wigan Labour Labour hold Details
Wirral No overall control No overall control hold Details
Wolverhampton Labour Labour hold Details

Unitary authorities[edit]

One third of the council seats were up for election in 20 unitary authorities.

Council Previous control New Control Details
Blackburn with Darwen Labour Labour hold Details
Bristol No overall control No overall control hold Details
Derby Labour[A] No overall control gain Details
Halton Labour Labour hold Details
Hartlepool Labour Labour hold Details
Kingston upon Hull No overall control No overall control hold Details
Milton Keynes Liberal Democrat No overall control gain Details
North East Lincolnshire No overall control No overall control hold Details
Peterborough Conservative Conservative hold Details
Plymouth Labour No overall control gain Details
Portsmouth No overall control No overall control hold Details
Reading Labour Labour hold Details
Slough 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 Labour No overall control gain Details
Swindon Conservative Conservative hold Details
Thurrock Conservative Conservative hold Details
Warrington Labour No overall control gain Details
Wokingham Conservative Conservative hold Details
A Derby council was in no overall control after the previous election in a Liberal Democrat/Conservative administration. After a by-election in July 2005 Labour gained one councillor off the Liberal Democrats, thereby gaining control of the council.[23]

Non-metropolitan districts[edit]

Half of council[edit]

Council Authority type Election cycle Result Detailed results
Adur District Halves Conservative hold Details
Cheltenham District Halves NOC hold Details
Fareham District Halves Conservative hold Details
Gosport District Halves NOC gain Details
Hastings District Halves Conservative gain Details
Nuneaton and Bedworth District Halves Labour hold Details
Oxford District Halves NOC hold Details

Third of council[edit]

In 81 English district authorities one third of the council was up for election.

Council Authority type Election cycle Result Detailed results
Amber Valley District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Barrow-in-Furness District Thirds NOC gain Details
Basildon District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Basingstoke and Deane District Thirds NOC hold Details
Bassetlaw District Thirds Conservative gain Details
Bedford District Thirds NOC hold Details
Brentwood District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Broxbourne District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Burnley District Thirds NOC hold Details
Cambridge District Thirds Lib Dem hold Details
Cannock Chase District Thirds NOC hold Details
Carlisle District Thirds NOC hold Details
Castle Point District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Cherwell District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Chester District Thirds NOC hold Details
Chorley District Thirds Conservative gain Details
Colchester District Thirds NOC hold Details
Congleton District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Craven District Thirds NOC hold Details
Crawley District Thirds Conservative gain Details
Crewe and Nantwich District Thirds NOC hold Details
Referendum
Daventry District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Eastbourne District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Eastleigh District Thirds Lib Dem hold Details
Ellesmere Port and Neston District Thirds Labour hold Details
Elmbridge District Thirds NOC hold Details
Epping Forest District Thirds NOC hold Details
Exeter District Thirds NOC hold Details
Gloucester District Thirds NOC hold Details
Great Yarmouth District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Harlow District Thirds NOC hold Details
Harrogate District Thirds NOC gain Details
Hart District Thirds NOC hold Details
Havant District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Hertsmere District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Huntingdonshire District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Hyndburn District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Ipswich District Thirds NOC hold Details
Lincoln District Thirds Labour hold Details (Word doc.)
Macclesfield District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Maidstone District Thirds NOC hold Details
Mole Valley District Thirds Conservative gain Details
Newcastle-under-Lyme District Thirds NOC gain Details
North Hertfordshire District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Norwich District Thirds NOC hold Details
Pendle District Thirds Lib Dem hold Details
Penwith District Thirds NOC hold Details
Preston District Thirds NOC hold Details
Purbeck District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Redditch District Thirds NOC gain Details
Reigate and Banstead District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Rochford District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Rossendale District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Rugby District Thirds NOC hold Details
Runnymede District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Rushmoor District Thirds Conservative hold Details
St. Albans District Thirds Lib Dem gain Details
Shrewsbury and Atcham District Thirds Conservative gain Details
South Bedfordshire District Thirds Conservative hold Details
South Cambridgeshire District Thirds NOC hold Details
South Lakeland District Thirds Lib Dem gain Details
Stevenage District Thirds Labour hold Details
Stratford-on-Avon District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Stroud District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Swale District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Tamworth District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Tandridge District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Three Rivers District Thirds Lib Dem hold Details
Tunbridge Wells District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Watford District Thirds Lib Dem hold Details
Waveney District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Welwyn Hatfield District Thirds Conservative hold Details
West Lancashire District Thirds Conservative hold Details
West Lindsey District Thirds NOC gain Details
West Oxfordshire District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Weymouth and Portland District Thirds NOC hold Details
Winchester District Thirds Conservative gain Details
Woking District Thirds NOC hold Details
Worcester District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Worthing District Thirds Conservative hold Details
Wyre Forest District Thirds NOC hold Details

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BBC Election 2006 results". News.bbc.co.uk. 
  2. ^ Gibb, Robbie (7 April 2006). "Friday, 7 April 2006". BBC News. 
  3. ^ Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher, "Tories approach the point of take-off", Sunday Times, 7 May 2006, p. 13
  4. ^ "BBC NEWS, Election 2006, UK - National". BBC News. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ a b "UKIP launches local poll campaign". BBC News. 28 March 2006. 
  7. ^ a b "At-a-glance: Lib Dem poll launch". BBC News. 3 April 2006. 
  8. ^ "At-a-glance: Labour's poll launch". BBC News. 5 April 2006. 
  9. ^ news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/help/3681938.stm[dead link]
  10. ^ a b "Galloway launches poll campaign". BBC News. 10 April 2006. 
  11. ^ "Greens launch local election bid". BBC News. 11 April 2006. 
  12. ^ "Greens outline electoral campaign". BBC News. 5 April 2006. 
  13. ^ [2][dead link]
  14. ^ "At-a-glance: Conservative poll launch". BBC News. 18 April 2006. 
  15. ^ [3][dead link]
  16. ^ "Lib Dems launch election campaign". BBC News. 3 April 2006. 
  17. ^ strategicvoter.org.uk
  18. ^ "Blair and Brown in show of unity". BBC News. 5 April 2006. 
  19. ^ "Tories offer chance of TV stardom". BBC News. 5 April 2006. 
  20. ^ davethechameleon.com
  21. ^ "Central Lobby - UK political and parliamentary policy news, interviews and analysis". Epolitix.com. Retrieved 2013-02-02. 
  22. ^ "Central Lobby - UK political and parliamentary policy news, interviews and analysis". Epolitix.com. Retrieved 2013-02-02. 
  23. ^ "Labour wins city council control". BBC News Online. 15 July 2005. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]