2001 United Kingdom local elections

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2001 United Kingdom local elections

← 2000 7 June 2001 2002 →

All 34 non-metropolitan counties, 11 out of 46 unitary authorities,
1 sui generis authority and all 26 Northern Irish districts
  Majority party Minority party Third party
  William Hague Foreign Secretary (2010).jpg Tony Blair WEF (cropped).jpg Charles Kennedy MP (cropped).jpg
Leader William Hague Tony Blair Charles Kennedy
Party Conservative Labour Liberal Democrat
Leader since 19 June 1997 21 July 1994 9 August 1999
Percentage 40% 31% 25%
Councils 18 14 0
Councils +/- Increase5 Decrease2 Decrease2
Councillors 1,094 830 498
Councillors +/- Increase121 0 Decrease70

United Kingdom local elections, 2001.svg
Colours denote the winning party, as shown in the main table of results.

Local elections took place in some parts of the UK on 7 June 2001. Elections took place for all of the English shire counties, some English unitary authorities and all of the Northern Ireland districts. The elections were delayed from the usual date of the first Thursday in May due to the 2001 UK foot and mouth crisis and were held on the same day as the general election.

While the results were overshadowed by the re-election of the Labour government, they did provide some comfort to the Conservative party. The Conservatives consolidated their position as the largest party on the English county councils.

Summary of results[edit]

The results of the English local elections saw the Conservative party make significant progress, gaining control of a further five councils. The Labour party lost control of Cumbria and Warwickshire county councils, while the Liberal Democrats suffered losses of both of their councils and councillors.

The results in a number of these councils were mostly in line with the general election results.

The Conservatives gain of Cheshire county council coincided with their gain of the Tatton constituency, while their gain of Norfolk county council coincided with a gain in North West Norfolk and a big swing to them in South West Norfolk (although there was a Lib Dem gain in North Norfolk but only on a small swing). The Lib Dem loss of Somerset coincided with them narrowly losing Taunton to the Conservatives, and falling back in key target seats such as Wells and Bridgwater, which fall under the county council's area.

Some bucked trends, however. Labour lost Cumbria despite holding up relatively well in their four parliamentary seats in the county, though the Conservative majority was eroded by the Lib Dems in Westmorland and Lonsdale, which the Lib Dems eventually won in 2005 and have held ever since. Warwickshire was lost by Labour, which was admittedly on a knife-edge, though this was despite swings in their favour in key Conservative targets such as Rugby & Kenilworth and Warwick & Leamington.

The Conservatives gained Dorset. Despite the fact in 1997 when they won every constituency in Dorset (some by small margins admittedly), the council remained in no overall control. Whereas this time when they gained control of it, they lost two parliamentary seats: Dorset South to Labour and Mid-Dorset & Poole North to the Lib Dems by small margins. Despite those gains and some swings to the Lib Dems in other seats in Dorset, there was a big swing to the Conservatives in Christchurch.

The Lib Dem loss of Devon county council coincided with the Lib Dems actually gaining Teignbridge from the Conservatives and significantly increasing their majority in Torbay, a key Conservative target. There were smaller swings away in the Conservatives' favour in their marginal seats such as Tiverton & Honiton and Totnes, and they achieved a small swing in one of their targets, Devon West & Torridge.


Party Councils Councillors
Gain Loss Change Total Gain Loss Change Total
Conservative +5 18 +120 1,093
Labour -2 14 +7 843
Liberal Democrat -2 0 -80 449
Independent 0 0 -25 67
Other 0 0 0 0 -1 28
No overall control -1 13

England[edit]

Non-metropolitan county councils[edit]

In all 34 English county councils the whole council was up for election.

Council Previous control Result Details
Bedfordshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
Buckinghamshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
Cambridgeshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
Cheshire No overall control Conservative gain Details
Cornwall No overall control No overall control hold Details
Cumbria Labour No overall control gain Details
Derbyshire Labour Labour hold Details
Devon Liberal Democrat No overall control gain Details
Dorset No overall control Conservative gain Details
Durham Labour Labour hold Details
East Sussex No overall control Conservative gain Details
Essex Conservative Conservative hold Details
Gloucestershire No overall control No overall control hold Details
Hampshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
Hertfordshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
Kent Conservative Conservative hold Details
Lancashire Labour Labour hold Details
Leicestershire No overall control Conservative gain Details
Lincolnshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
Norfolk No overall control Conservative gain Details
North Yorkshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
Northamptonshire Labour Labour hold Details
Northumberland Labour Labour hold Details
Nottinghamshire Labour Labour hold Details
Oxfordshire No overall control No overall control hold Details
Shropshire No overall control No overall control hold Details
Somerset Liberal Democrat No overall control gain Details
Staffordshire Labour Labour hold Details
Suffolk No overall control No overall control hold Details
Surrey Conservative Conservative hold Details
Warwickshire Labour No overall control gain Details
West Sussex Conservative Conservative hold Details
Wiltshire Conservative Conservative hold Details
Worcestershire No overall control No overall control hold Details

‡ New ward boundaries

Unitary authorities[edit]

In two English unitary authorities the whole council was up for election while a further nine unitary authorities had one third of the council up for election.

Whole council[edit]

Council Previous control Result Details
Isle of Wight No overall control No overall control hold Details
Southend-on-Sea Conservative Conservative hold Details

‡ New ward boundaries

Third of council[edit]

Council Previous control Result Details
Blackburn with Darwen Labour Labour hold Details
Bristol Labour Labour hold Details
Halton Labour Labour hold Details
Peterborough No overall control No overall control hold Details
Reading Labour Labour hold Details
Slough Labour Labour hold Details
Thurrock Labour Labour hold Details
Warrington Labour Labour hold Details
Wokingham No overall control No overall control hold Details

Sui generis[edit]

Council Previous control Result Details
Isles of Scilly Details

Northern Ireland[edit]

In all 26 Northern Ireland districts the whole council was up for election. They were elected by Single Transferable Vote. They saw the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin make gains at the expense of the other parties.

Council Previous control Result Details
Antrim No overall control No overall control Details
Ards No overall control No overall control Details
Armagh No overall control No overall control Details
Ballymena No overall control No overall control Details
Ballymoney No overall control DUP Details
Banbridge UUP No overall control Details
Belfast No overall control No overall control Details
Carrickfergus No overall control No overall control Details
Castlereagh No overall control No overall control Details
Coleraine No overall control No overall control Details
Cookstown No overall control No overall control Details
Craigavon No overall control No overall control Details
Derry No overall control No overall control Details
Down SDLP No overall control Details
Dungannon and South Tyrone No overall control No overall control Details
Fermanagh No overall control No overall control Details
Larne No overall control No overall control Details
Limavady No overall control No overall control Details
Lisburn No overall control No overall control Details
Magherafelt No overall control No overall control Details
Moyle No overall control No overall control Details
Newry and Mourne No overall control No overall control Details
Newtownabbey No overall control No overall control Details
North Down No overall control No overall control Details
Omagh No overall control No overall control Details
Strabane No overall control No overall control Details

References[edit]