UK local elections 2024: How the results unfolded

In the relative calm before the rest of the mayoralties are declared, the word from inside the opposition party HQs — and from the desks of several political scientists — is that the general election implications are as interesting as who becomes mayor. In other words, they are all looking at the Westminster constituencies that sit inside the mayoralty areas.

This particularly applies to the new mayoralties in Yorkshire and the East Midlands, which cover the same part of the map as “a whole huge chunk” of seats (technical psephological term) that Labour hopes to take from the Conservatives at the general election this year.

As far as the Liberal Democrats are concerned, with a lot of areas they have targeted in the local council elections not declaring until 6pm or even later (the word is that the counting is slow), attention has turned to the results already in and what they mean for promising parliamentary constituencies.

A good result in Stockport’s council elections, for example, has cheered them up about the two target seats in that area, Hazel Grove and Cheadle. In Surrey, they will be thinking about what it means for finally taking the Esher seat (where they tried but narrowly missed defeating Dominic Raab last time) if they do well in the Elmbridge council election.

So for all the high-minded talk of elections being all about local power — and newly devolved power in the case of some of the mayoralties — there is a large chunk of every political brain poring over the results in terms of what it means for the make-up of the next parliament.

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