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.

Upcoming local elections

In May 2024, local elections will be taking place in the following type of local authorities:

  • 58 district authorities
  • 18 unitary authorities
  • 31 metropolitan districts.

In addition, there will be Police and Crime Commissioner elections across all areas of England and Wales, combined authority elections for Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley and the West Midlands, and the Greater London Authority Mayoral and Assembly elections.

The Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities 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
  • 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

The most recent local elections took place on Thursday 4 May 2023 in the following authorities in England:

  • 152 District authorities
  • 46 Unitary authorities
  • 32 Metropolitan districts.