Large parts of the UK will hold local elections tomorrow and Britons will be able to vote for their next local authority representatives. While the Conservative Party has dominated England and Northern Ireland’s local political scene since 2015, this could all be set to change.
The Tories will seek to defend 4,901 council seats across England and Northern Ireland tomorrow.
In total there are 8,400 seats up for grabs in England plus a further 462 in Northern Ireland, which make it the largest local election since 2015.
In 2015 the Tories made 500 gains, which is an impressive number for a governing party, but this time around they are expected to make big losses.
These are the seats being contested by each party in tomorrow’s local elections:
Lib Dem: 647
Green Party: 71
Will Theresa May suffer a wipeout?
As the local political landscape currently stands, the Tories are in power in most places.
The Conservatives currently control more than half of the councils in England and Northern Ireland, while 67 are controlled by Labour.
However, the Tories could lose up to 1,000 seats amid a Brexit backlash in tomorrow’s local elections.
Ahead of the European elections on May 23, the Conservatives ratings have plummeted while Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has risen ahead.
Amid fears of local election losses, Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis urged voters to remember that the local elections are about community services and not Brexit.
He told the Sunday Express: “I know many voters will feel as though as a country we have been voting in elections and referendums and debating politics endlessly over the past few years, but a vote for who you want to run your local council really does make a difference.
“If you want to keep things like weekly bin collections, roads being fixed, fly-tipping being stamped out and your council tax down, you need to go out and vote for them – and vote Conservative on Thursday.”
But a senior party member told the Sunday Express that “even before the problems with Brexit we calculated we will lose more than 1,000 [remaining] seats.”
BBC political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg has also issued Theresa May with a stark warning ahead of tomorrow’s votes.
Speaking on Radio 4’s Today Programme, she said: “These elections were, crucially, fought the last time these seats were up for grabs on the same day as the 2015 General Election.
“Now that is an era when the idea of a European referendum was only a promise in the Conservative manifesto. Basically, our political landscape has completely changed since then.
“And how will that come to bear in these particular elections? The overall context though is the Tories fought these at a high point.
“So the question for them tomorrow is how much will they be able to hold the line, will it be a kind of embarrassing set of losses, or will they actually haemorrhage?”
Could Corbyn swipe key Tory seats?
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will seek to swipe local authority seats away from the Tory’s stronghold tomorrow.
As for whether Corbyn will lead Labour to victory, Kuenssberg said: “How much can Labour show that they are progressing, that they are somehow on the march towards Government, they should be making gains, but how dramatically will they be able to do?”
She continued: “And also for UKIP we expect that they will probably fall back because again the last time these seats were contested they were at a high point. Can the Lib Dems show us that they really have any sign still of life?
“Traditionally for them local Government has always been where they have built themselves up. But will they see any signs of that tomorrow night? We will have to see.”
Tomorrow’s local elections will be treated a key indicator of how the UK will vote in the upcoming EU elections.
Elections are not being held for London boroughs, county councils, or other local authorities that elect their councillors on a whole council basis every four years.