United Kingdom local elections, 2008
There were also extraordinary elections held for four of the new unitary authorities being created, in Northumberland, County Durham and Cheshire (two councils - Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester). Scheduled elections for Penwith in Cornwall, Shrewsbury & Atcham in Shropshire, Bedford and South Bedfordshire in Bedfordshire and five district councils in Cheshire were cancelled, due to the up-coming unitary authorities being established in those counties.
The Labour Party finished in 3rd place, trailing the Tories by 20%, the largest such margin ever between the two main parties. Aside from the strong showing for David Cameron's Tories, the BNP also made substantial gains, making 10 net gains to finish with over 30 seats.
The strong showing for the Conservatives and the disappointing showing by Labour reflected the change in the political mood of Britain at the time, where the Labour government, now led by prime minister Gordon Brown, had suffered a slump in popularity due to the financial crisis and economic fears which were affecting Britain at the time.
Summary of results
|Respect – The Unity Coalition||+1||4||0||0|
|No overall control||n/a||n/a||-3||64|
All 36 English metropolitan borough councils had one third of their seats up for election.
In 19 English unitary authorities one third of the council was up for election.
Elections were held in three of the current non-metropolitan counties of Cheshire, County Durham and Northumberland for four new unitary authorities which were established in 2009. These councils were "shadow councils" until then.
|Cheshire West and Chester||Conservative||Details|
|Northumberland||No overall control|
In 4 English district authorities the whole council was up for election following ward boundary changes.
|Barrow-in-Furness||No overall control||No overall control hold||Details|
|Basingstoke and Deane||No overall control||Conservative gain||Details|
|South Lakeland||Liberal Democrat||Liberal Democrat hold||Details|
|Welwyn Hatfield||Conservative||Conservative hold||Details|
Half of council
In 7 English district authorities, half of the council was up for election.
|Cheltenham||No overall control||No overall control hold||Details|
|Gosport||No overall control||No overall control hold||Details|
|Hastings||No overall control||No overall control hold||Details|
|Nuneaton and Bedworth||Labour||Conservative gain||Details|
|Oxford||No overall control||No overall control hold||Details|
Third of council
In 67 English district authorities, a third of the council was up for election.
In all 22 Welsh councils the whole of the council was up for election.