Local government elections

This section includes details of when different types of authorities are due to hold local elections and guidance on the pre-election period.

Local elections 2019

The most recent local government elections were held on 2 May 2019 and included:

  • Metropolitan districts
  • Shire districts
  • Unitary authorities.

For more detail on future elections, the Ministry of Houseing, Communities and Local Government publish a list of election cycles by type of local authority in England.

Pre-election period

The pre-election period, previously known as purdah, is the time between an election is announced and the date the election is held.   

Central and local government are subject to certain restrictions on political activity during the run up to an election. See our short guide to publicity during the pre-election period or visit our dedicated section: what the pre-election period means in practice

The LGA is not subject to the same restrictions. Paragraph 40 of the LGA’s Governance Framework sets out our media and public statements protocols during this period.

Local election results impact on the LGA

The outcome of the English and Welsh local elections each year determines:

  • who is eligible to sit on the LGA’s political governance structures;
  • the LGA’s political balance for the new political year; and
  • the LGA’s Political Group Office’s appointments to our governance structures for the new political year.

Find out more about the LGA's political balance and political group appointments.

Previous local elections: 2018

The 2018 local government elections took place on Thursday 3 May 2018 across 150 English councils. Five mayoral elections and one combined authority mayoral election were also held on 3 May 2018.

Political balance

The LGA's political balance is defined by the outcome of English and Welsh local elections each year.

Find out more about LGA's political balance.