UKIP disinterest and fringe far-right decline: local election predictions

Simon Murdoch - 03 05 17

With all eyes on the upcoming snap General Election, many seem to have forgotten that the local elections are tomorrow (May 4) with 4,851 seats being contested, across 35 English local authorities (including the new combined authority mayoral authorities) and covering all Scottish and Welsh councils.

Whilst opinion pollsters have also shifted focus to the snap general election, the Political Studies Association/Local Government Chronicle overall assessment is that:

“Recent local election results suggest that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are both on course to make gains at this May’s local elections in England, whereas Labour and UKIP are likely to take a hit.”

More specifically, their estimate – based on examining local by-elections held since January 2015 – is that there will be net gains of 115 seats and 85 seats for the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats respectively, while thepredicted net losses are 75 and 105 seats for Labour and UKIP.

Poll Predictions

Opinion polls for General Elections should not be treated as a complete indication of voting intentions in local elections. (Likewise, local outcomes should not be taken as indicative of likely national outcomes.) However, averages of General Election voting intention polls do reflect increased support for the Tories and Liberal Democrats and declines for Labour and UKIP, as predicted above.

The “Poll of Polls” from Britain Elects below also reflects an ongoing decline in interest in UKIP since their surge up to the EU referendum last year.

More specifically, recent voting intention opinion polling suggests the following. A YouGov poll in The Sunday Times on 30 April gave the following results: CON 44%, LAB 31%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 6%, GRN 2%. A subsequent poll by ICM in The Guardian yesterday suggested: CON 47%, LAB 28%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 8%. As of today, a Panelbase poll is indicating: CON 47%, LAB 30%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 5%, GRN 2%.

A Failing Far-Right

As HOPE not hate have reported, 1,277 candidates are standing in the local elections from populist and far-right parties, which is a drop of 658 candidates from 1935 overall standing in the same regions’ last election cycles. As HOPE not hate’s Nick Lowles suggests:

“This reflects a significant decline in the willingness and ability of the far right to engage in democratic politics. Perhaps most striking is the continuing decline of the British National Party which has managed to stand a mere 10 candidates in the county council elections, down from a record 744 in 2007.”

HOPE not hate will be reporting on the outcome of the local elections as it happens, making sure to bring you all the information on how the far-right fare.


Stay informed

Sign up for emails from HOPE not hate to make sure you stay up to date with the latest news, and to receive simple actions you can take to help spread HOPE.


We couldn't do it without our supporters

Fund research, counter hate and support and grow inclusive communities by donating to HOPE not hate today

I am looking for...


Useful links

Close Search X
Donate to HOPE not hate