This year’s round of local council elections are only in England and are the smallest round of that cycle of elections. Which may make you think that it’s a small set of elections and one in which many or even most parts of the country will not be voting.
Add in also the Police and Crime Commissioner elections across England and Wales, the London Mayor and Assembly elections and seven different Mayor elections.
That gets you to elections across all of England and Wales, with only Scotland election-free (save for any council by-elections).
It may be a small round of elections from the point of view of numbers of councillors. But it’s a huge round of elections from the point of view of how many people have the chance to vote, how many local parties have elections taking place in their patch, and how many chances there are to get members and supporters out campaigning for the party.
It also makes these elections an important opportunity to follow up on December’s general election.
May is an important opportunity to strengthen the local government base in many seats where we increased our vote share in December.
It’s a renewed opportunity to rebuild in seats where we were squeezed or didn’t stand.
Crucially for the long-term, they are also a hook to follow up on the many people who went campaigning for the first time – turning for many of them helping in elections into a regular habit rather than a one-off aberration.
There’s much the party centrally has to get right to support these elections (such as the increased financial support). It also requires local parties to be up for it – including those who don’t have elections other than being part of a Police and Crime Commissioner or Mayor election that covers a wide geographic area.
Which also means that regional parties in England and the state parties in England and Wales need to be up for it – not only telling others (such as me!) what they think someone else should be doing about the elections but also repeatedly asking it of themselves.
I hope you are – and ALDC has a great source of resources, training and advice.
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