United Kingdom local elections, 2003

United Kingdom local elections, 2003

Local elections took place in various parts of the United Kingdom on May 1, 2003, on the same day as the Scottish Parliamentary and the Welsh Assembly elections. There were local elections for all councils in Scotland and in most of England. There were no elections in Wales, Northern Ireland or London.

The ruling Labour Party lost a considerable 833 seats, while both the main opposition parties, Conservative and Liberal Democrat, polled strongly.

Fifty nine councils held electoral pilot schemes to try and boost turnout figures. Schemes included all postal voting, mobile polling stations, alterations to voting hours and various kinds of Electronic voting. The most successful in raising turnout was all-postal voting which saw turnout rise to an average of 50%. In comparison turnout across the whole of England was only 33%

The Results

The Labour party lost a considerable 833 seats, losing control of councils such as Birmingham and Coventry, both of which the party had controlled for 20 years.

The Conservative party extended its lead over the Labour party by 1,399 councillors, however their celebrations were tempered by the resignation of Conservative front bencher Crispin Blunt, who described the party leader, Ian Duncan Smith as a "handicap" and called for him to be replaced. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2994993.stm]

The Liberal Democrat party gained its highest ever share of the vote ever at 30% only one percent behind the Labour party.

Unitary Authorities

Whole council

In 27 English Unitary authorities the whole council was up for election.

One third of council

In 82 English district authorities one third of the council was up for election.

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External links

* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/uk_politics/2003/vote_2003/ BBC Vote 2003]
* [http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/publications/briefings/pilotingalternativevotingmethods.htm Voting Pilots in 2003]
* [http://society.guardian.co.uk/localgovelections/0,8145,467148,00.html The Guardian 2003 election coverage]

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