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Perspectives - The 2023 English Local Elections

The 2023 English Local Elections

The main takeaways for businesses

  • Businesses have had to ride two horses to hedge against the result of the next general election.

  • This set of local elections results suggests businesses may now need to ride three, as it is possible the Liberal Democrats could exert outsize influence on a future Labour government. We should expect the party to try to make political headway on their core areas of focus such as the cost of living, healthcare, the environment, and water quality.

  • The results do not offer a clear enough picture to make confident predictions of a Labour majority, but the narrative of substantial Conservative losses means momentum is still heading towards Labour.

A difficult night for the Conservatives, but Labour still has work to do

Controlling the narrative

The expectations management game of both Labour and the Conservatives was in full swing going into this set of local elections. The Conservatives had been keen to paint anything better than a 1,000-seat loss as an unexpected success, meanwhile the Labour Party has been at pains to point out that the last time this set of councils were up, the Conservatives were at their 2019 nadir which precipitated the resignation of Theresa May a few weeks later.

What the results tell us (and what they don't)

Though the full picture of the results won’t settle until the weekend (with most local authorities not beginning their counts until today), as things stand, they are trending towards the very worst end of predictions for the Conservative Party. But it is not clear that Labour has performed well enough to be confident of securing a comfortable outright majority at the next general election.

Download the report for our full analysis