Local elections: key timings

Here are the key timings for the counting and declaration of results in this year’s local elections.

– 10pm, Thursday May 2

Polling stations close in 248 council areas in England and 11 council areas in Northern Ireland.

Counting begins for an estimated 113 councils in England plus mayoral elections in Copeland and Middlesbrough. In Northern Ireland, verification will take place overnight of unused ballot papers returned from polling stations, but no counting will begin until Friday morning.

– From 12am, Friday May 3

First results are expected from England. How the Conservatives perform in Basildon and Swindon will be an early marker of the party’s fortunes, with a chance that both councils could slip from Tory control.

– From 2am

Results start to pick up. Around 75 councils should have declared by 4am. Both Labour and the Tories have their eye on gaining a majority in Dudley, Trafford and Walsall. The Tories are hoping to gain control in Thurrock but could lose control of Peterborough, St Albans and Southend-on-Sea. Two of the six mayoral results – Copeland and Middlesbrough – are due around 3am.


– From 4am

The pace of results starts to slow down. The Lib Dems are in with a chance of taking control of Winchester from the Conservatives, while Labour could pick up Allerdale. The Tories are at risk in Boston and Eden but could take control in Torbay.

– 8am

All of the overnight results in England are due to have been declared. Counting begins in Northern Ireland.


– From 12pm

Results should start to come in from an estimated 135 English councils counting during Friday. The Tories could be in danger in Pendle while Labour might take overall control at Redcar & Cleveland.

– From 2pm

A steady stream of results is likely. The Tories could lose Amber Valley to Labour, while Labour could lose overall control at Cannock Chase, Crawley and Rossendale. The Lib Dems will want to hang on to Three Rivers.


– From 4pm

Around 50 results are still due to come in from England. Labour could take control from the Tories in Redditch, but lose overall control in Lancaster. The Lib Dems will be looking to hold on in South Somerset. Basingstoke & Deane, Bromsgrove and High Peak could slip from a Conservative majority to no overall control. The remaining four mayoral results – Bedford, Leicester, North of Tyne and Mansfield – should be in by now, along with the first results from Northern Ireland.

– By 9pm

All the results in England should be in, though delays could push some counts late into the night or even Saturday. Most counts in Northern Ireland should be finished, though it is likely some will be completed on Saturday.