2013 Local Elections – Predictions

Ballot BoxI have taken the local elections opinion poll from ComRes (published on the 30th of April) and looked at how the projected share of the vote converts into local county council and unitary authority seats. I have also examined the data on how same-sex marriage has affected party loyalty and mapped how the results differ when party allegiance alters in the light of this.

A few qualifications – I have not been able to model where there have been boundary changes (but this will have little effect) and I have also not been able to analyse one or two councils. I have also made a number of assumptions about how UKIP will perform in seats where it didn’t stand last time.


The headlines are as follows.

  • The Conservatives will lose over 600 seats and will lose all but two councils
  • Labour will gain over 250 seats
  • UKIP have a good chance of winning more seats then the Liberal Democrats. They also have a good chance of gaining more seats then Labour (i.e. they will win more new seats than Labour wins new seats).
  • The BNP will be practically wiped out at a local level

Here are specific forecasts for individual councils.

Council Previous New
Buckinghamshire Conservative Conservative
Cambridgeshire Conservative NOC – Con Lead
Cumbria NOC – Con Lead NOC – Lab Lead
Derbyshire Conservative NOC – Lab Lead
Devon Conservative NOC – UKIP Lead
Dorset Conservative NOC – Con Lead
East Sussex Conservative NOC – Con Lead
Essex Conservative NOC – Con Lead
Gloucestershire Conservative NOC – Con Lead
Hampshire Conservative NOC – Con Lead
Hertfordshire Conservative NOC – Con Lead
Kent Conservative NOC – Con Lead
Lancashire Conservative NOC – Lab Lead
Leicestershire Conservative NOC – Con Lead
Lincolnshire Conservative NOC – Con Lead
Norfolk Conservative NOC – Con Lead
North Yorkshire Conservative NOC – Con Lead
Northamptonshire Conservative Conservative
Nottinghamshire Conservative NOC – Lab Lead
Oxfordshire Conservative NOC – Con Lead
Somerset Conservative NOC – Con Lead
Staffordshire Conservative NOC
Suffolk Conservative NOC – Con Lead
Surrey Conservative NOC – Con Lead
Warwickshire Conservative NOC – Con Lead
West Sussex Conservative NOC – Con Lead
Worcestershire Conservative NOC – Con Lead
Bristol Liberal Democrat NOC
Cornwall NOC – Con Lead NOC
Isle of Wight Conservative NOC
Shropshire Conservative NOC – Con Lead
Wiltshire Conservative NOC

NOC = No Overall Control. Where it is obvious that one party will be the largest party under NOC I have indicated, otherwise where there are two or more parties which may lead I have simply indicated NOC without a party.

Effect of Same-Sex Marriage

The ComRes poll allows us to analyse how party shares of the vote would alter if same-sex marriage wasn’t  being pushed by the Government. Tis affects the Conservatives in particular and sees them regain some of the votes lost to UKIP. The summary is as follows.

  • Approximately 50 seats swing back to Conservatives from UKIP
  • Conservatives would retake Surrey
  • Conservative share of the vote increases by around 2%


The biggest unknown is how UKIP will perform. I have run a number of scenarios with different UKIP vote shares and the data indicates that once UKIP passes around 15% of the national share it begins to win lots of seats, particularly in areas where it had a reasonable share of the vote in 2009 (4%-5% or more). If their vote approaches 25% then there is the distinct possibility of them becoming the largest party on a number of councils.

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