Ones to Watch #LE2015

We’ve compiled a list of councils to watch at this year’s Local Elections. These authorities either reflect or buck the national trend. Our insight and predictions show what is up for grabs when it comes to who will be running local services across England.

Amber Valley Borough Council

Council type: Non-metropolitan District
Election type: 1/3 election
Pre-election stats: 45 councillors representing 23 wards
22 Conservative Cllrs
23 Labour Cllrs
One to watch: Currently has an extremely narrow Labour majority. Labour are targeting Amber Valley strongly. The authority is an example of local elections
reflecting parliamentary elections.

Brighton & Hove City Council

Council type: Unitary authority
Election type: All-out elections
Pre-election stats: 54 councillors
20 Green Cllrs
18 Conservative Cllrs
13 Labour Cllrs
2 Independent Cllrs
I UKIP Cllr
One to watch: Currently a Green minority government. Labour are tipped to take control, but Brighton is one of the very few 3-way split councils.

Cannock Chase Council

Council type: Non-metropolitan District
Election type: 1/3 election
Pre-election stats: 41 councillors
25 Labour Cllrs
6 UKIP Cllrs
5 Conservative Cllrs
3 Liberal Democrat Cllrs
2 Independent Cllrs
One to watch: Cannock Chase is under Labour control with the out-going Conservative Aiden Burley as Member of Parliament. The majority is narrow, but the
opposition is split. Labour should hold Cannock Chase and take the Parliamentary seat.

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

Council type: Metropolitan Borough
Election type: All out
Pre-election stats: 64 councillors
47 Labour Cllrs
9 Conservative Cllrs
3 UKIP Cllrs
2 Independent Cllrs
1 Independent/ Not affiliated to party Cllr
1 Community Group Party Cllr
1 Mexborough First Cllr
One to watch: Doncaster is currently under Labour control and Labour should hold here, but Doncaster is one to watch because Ed Miliband’s constituency is
here. Any major shifts in the area’s local politics could have significant indications for central government.

Eastleigh Borough Council

Council type: Non-metropolitan District
Election type: 1/3 election
Pre-election stats: 44 councillors
40 Liberal Democrat Cllrs
4 Conservative Cllrs
One to watch: Eastleigh is one of the only places in the UK that is solidly Lib Dem with regard to both local authority and parliamentary constituency.
Mike Thornton MP is holding a majority of 1,771 and is expected to win this year.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Council type: Non-metropolitan District
Election type: 1/3 election
Pre-election stats: 39 Councillors
14 Labour Cllrs
12 Conservative Cllrs
11 UKIP Cllrs
1 Independent Labour Cllr
1 Independent Cllr
One to watch: Great Yarmouth’s Labour and Conservative groups currently unite to prevent UKIP holding power. A fairly unusual situation indeed. Yarmouth is one to watch regarding the UKIP surge – will UKIP take control of a council? The Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth, Brandon Lewis, holds a 4,276 strong majority and is expected to hold on comfortably. Great Yarmouth could be a council that shows the divergence of local and national voting habits.

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council

Council type: Non-metropolitan District
Election type: All out elections
Pre-election stats: 34 councillors
19 Lib Dem Cllrs
14 Conservative Cllrs
1 Labour Cllr
One to watch: Hickley and Bosworth is another Lib Dem authority to watch. The council currently has a slim Lib Dem majority and the Conservatives are not far behind.

Milton Keynes Council

Council type: Unitary authority
Election type: 1/3 election
Pre-election stats: 57 councillors
18 Conservatives Cllrs
25 Labour Cllrs
13 Liberal Democrats Cllrs
1 UKIP Cllr
One to watch: Milton Keynes is currently under minority Labour control. The council is expected to go to a Labour majority, but this is not certain. The
Conservatives are the major opposition, but the Lib Dems are not too far behind.

Newark & Sherwood District Council

Council type: Non-metropolitan District
Election type: All out elections
Pre-election stats: 45 councillors
21 Conservative Cllrs
15 Labour Cllrs
6 Independent Cllrs
3 Lib Dem Cllrs
One to watch: Newark and Sherwood is another East Midlands battleground. A council under NOC and generally divided between Conservative and Labour.
Conservatives hold six more seats than their Labour rivals.

Norwich City Council

Council type: Non-metropolitan District
Election type: 1/3 election
Pre-election stats: 39 councillors
19 Labour Cllrs
15 Green Cllrs
3 Liberal Democrat Cllrs
There are 2 vacancies currently
One to watch: Norwich is currently under Labour control, but faces a threat from the Greens. The Greens are the current opposition in Norwich.

Oadby and Wigston Borough Council

Council type: Non-metropolitan District
Election type: All out elections
Pre-election stats: 25 councillors
22 Liberal Democrats Cllrs
2 Conservative Cllrs
2 Firstconserve Cllrs
One to watch: Oadby and Wigston has remained staunchly yellow for the 20 years. How well will it hold?

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Council type: Metropolitan Borough
Election type: All out
Pre-election stats: 60 councillors
9 UKIP Cllrs
46 Labour Cllrs
3 Independent Cllrs
2 Conservative Cllrs
One to watch: Rotherham is seen as a safe Labour seat and currently has a strong Labour majority. However, Rotherham is holding all out elections and the
question is, how far will Labour be punished for the council’s failings surrounding child sexual exploitation?

South Derbyshire District Council

Council type: Non-metropolitan District
Election type: All out election
Pre-election stats: 36 councillors
19 Conservative Cllrs
17 Labour Cllrs
One to watch: South Derbyshire is another Midlands marginal. This time, the Conservatives hold a slim majority with Labour not far behind.

Stroud District Council

Council type: Non-metropolitan District
Election type: 1/3 election
Pre-election stats: 49 councillors
21 Conservative Cllrs
19 Labour Cllrs
6 Green Cllrs
3 Liberal Democrat Cllrs
One to watch: Stroud is a Labour target for the parliamentary elections. It is currently a NOC, with the Conservatives only just the largest party. Labour
are not far behind and there are a significant number of Greens.

Thanet District Council

Council type: Non-metropolitan District
Election type: All out
Pre-election stats: 56 councillors
26 Labour Cllrs
22 Conservative Cllrs
3 Independent Group Cllrs
2 Thanet independent group Cllrs
2 UKIP Cllrs
1 Independent Cllr
One to watch: For Nigel Farage to win the Parliamentary seat he will need to take on the combined might of the Conservative and Labour battle to take the council. Based on his current activist base of 2 UKIP councillors this looks extremely difficult for Mr Farage to steal a lead.

Trafford Council
Council type: Metropolitan Borough
Election type: 1/3 election
Pre-election stats: 63 councillors
33 Conservative Cllrs
27 Labour Cllrs
3 Liberal Democrat Cllrs
One to watch: Trafford council is the only Greater Manchester Combined Authority council under Conservative Control. Will Leader, Sean Anstee, receive a
boost after George Osborne’s devolution deal?

Watford Borough Council

Council type: Non-metropolitan District
Election type: 1/3 election
Pre-election stats: 36 councillors
23 Lib Dem Cllrs (plus an elected mayor, who is not up for election this time)
11 Labour Cllrs
1 Conservative Cllrs
1 Vacancy
One to watch: Watford currently has a Lib Dem majority and has been under Lib Dem control for the last 15 years. Before this, Watford was a traditional
Labour seat.

London Borough Councils

The London Boroughs are not holding elections this year, but their 2014 results will influence Parliamentary outcomes. Councils including Haringey and Southwark saw a swing to Labour in 2014 and their incumbent Lib Dem MPs are currently suffering. For example, Haringey returned 48 Labour and 9 Lib Dem councillors in 2014. This year, Lib Dem heavyweight and MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone, is tipped to lose her seat.