What date are the local elections in 2022?



Brits will take to the polls next month to cast their votes in the local elections. Seats will be up for grabs in local authorities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The 2022 local elections will take place on Thursday, May 5, with polling stations open from 7am to 10pm. Anyone who wants to cast their vote in England will need to ensure they are registered to vote before April 14.

Votes will be cast in every local authority in Scotland and Wales – 32 in Scotland and 22 in Wales – as well as in London, where all 32 borough councils are up for election and five local mayors will be elected. These elections will be the first local elections in Wales in which 16 and 17-year-olds are eligible to vote.

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In England, around 150 councils will be holding elections. There is also a referendum in Bristol on whether to keep or abolish the city’s elected mayor.

Most of the seats up for grabs in this year’s election were last contested in 2018, when the UK was still in the European Union, the prime minister was Theresa May and the Labor leader was Jeremy Corbyn. The political landscape of the UK has undergone huge changes since.

The upcoming elections in May will be Boris Johnson’s first big electoral test since the partygate scandal. The results could also give an indication of voter satisfaction around the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis.

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Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Ed Davey will be judged on whether their parties are able to make gains at the expense of the Conservatives, while in Scotland and Wales, the SNP and Plaid Cymru will want to hold their ground in the face of challenges from the UK-wide parties.

In last year’s local elections, which took place on a day dubbed Super Thursday because of the sheer number of contests held, Labor suffered a poor performance, including defeat in the Hartlepool by-election. Conservative candidate Jill Mortimer gained 15,529 votes – more than half the total cast – with Labour’s Paul Williams trailing on 8,589.

But in recent months the Conservatives have seen their ratings drop dramatically in opinion polls and Labor is now seeing a consistent lead over the opposition, despite having spent much of the past few years trailing behind. Labor has been ahead in the polls since early December – around the time stories first began to emerge of Downing Street parties taking place during Covid-19 lockdowns. The latest polls put Sir Keir’s party four points ahead of the Tories.

In addition, a survey carried out by Ipsos following Rishi Sunak’s spring statement last month, found 41 per cent of people trusted Labor to manage taxes and public spending compared to 35 per cent who trusted the Conservatives. The public were also more likely to trust Labor to reduce the cost of living by a margin of 15 points and were increasingly using news about rising inflation rates to judge the UK’s economic performance more generally.

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Ipsos director of politics Keiran Pedley said: “These numbers clearly show the political risk facing the Conservatives concerning the rising cost of living. The public are following stories about it closely and are increasingly judging the performance of the economy overall with the cost of living directly. This matters because they are also more inclined to trust Labor to reduce the cost of living than the Conservatives.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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