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According to the BBC, there were 279 councils in England in 2015, versus 124 in 2016. Why is that number different?

Also, the UK in general and England specifically is currently predominantly conservative. This is reflected in opinion polls and in the previous general elections.

Why is it the case then that most councils in England are won by Labour?

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    This is two questions. You should try to keep it to one question per question. – Sam I am May 6 '16 at 15:13
  • What you say 'conservative', what do you mean exactly? Do you mean in terms of conservation, in terms of being socially conservative, fiscally conservative, or do you perhaps mean Conservative with a large 'C' or something else? – Peter David Carter May 7 '16 at 10:36
  • I meant vote for the Conservative party (the tories) – DevShark May 7 '16 at 10:46
  • Applied to vote-share the word 'predominantly' is inappropriate. Perhaps you mean in terms of current seats held in parliament? – Peter David Carter May 7 '16 at 11:03
  • Yes, I meant in terms of current seats (the current governement is Conservative, so there has to be more Conservatives votes than any one other party, right?) – DevShark May 7 '16 at 12:27
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According to the BBC, there was 279 councils in England in 2015, versus 124 in 2016. Why is that number different?

As mentioned in this question, councils in the UK can be elected all at once, or have half or a third of their seats up for election at a time, with 1, 2 or 3 elections in every 4 year cycle, respectively.

As a result, the number of councils with seats up for election in 2016 is different from 2015.

the UK in general and England specifically is currently predominantly Conservative

Well, not really; they received just over a third of the national vote in 2015.

Why is it the case then that most councils in England are won by Labour?

Because the spread is not uniform. Very broadly, Labour tend to do better (in England, at least) in urban areas, while the Conservatives tend to do better in rural areas. This map illustrates that quite nicely.

  • It might also be useful to point out that there are two different systems operating at once in different regions of England, with either two tiers (county + one of district, borough or city) or one tier (borough or unitary authority) and that urban areas currently tend to have lower turnout, which means the Labour party often wins more elections than their raw vote share would suggest. – origimbo May 6 '16 at 14:04
  • Thanks for your response. I do not understand your point that there is not really a conservative majority, because they have received only a third of the votes. They currently are a majority government, so what gives? – DevShark May 7 '16 at 12:52
  • In a first-past-the-post system, it's possible for a party to win a majority of seats without getting a majority of votes. See also my comment above. This page has a table showing % of seats and % of votes in all the elections since 1945. You'll see that not a single governing party has received a majority of votes in any election - but most governments have had a majority of seats. – Steve Melnikoff May 7 '16 at 14:49
  • @DevShark: is your question more about why a party who wins power subsequently loses support? – Daria May 8 '16 at 22:10
  • No, I was confused by the different number of seats, as I assumed wrongly that they were all up for reelection. – DevShark May 9 '16 at 6:23

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