Local Elections Betting: Where Conservatives and Labour Could Win This May

Local Elections Betting: Where Conservatives and Labour Could Win This May
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Betting sites believe the Conservative Party is on course for a humbling nationwide defeat at the local elections this May – but that doesn’t mean local councils will all be swinging to Labour.

Britons head to the polls in various council seats across England, Scotland and Wales on May 5, while the Northern Ireland Assembly will also be voted in.

The Tories are bracing themselves for a heavy backlash to recent scandals involving the government, and both Labour and the Lib Dems are hoping to make back significant ground across the country.

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Scrutiny over lockdown parties in Downing Street during the height of the coronavirus pandemic has led to Boris Johnson’s approval ratings plummeting in recent weeks, while satisfaction with the government as a whole is down.

The recent cost of living crisis has also been felt at a local level – and opposition parties are naturally highlighting recent government shortcomings on the campaign trail.

A wide range of county councils, district councils, metropolitan boroughs and mayoral contests will be voted on this month. Here, we look at the latest odds from six core battles that represent the mood of the nation.

Barnet Council – Projected Swing To Labour

Labour are the current 8/11 favourites to beat the Conservatives (6/5) for control of Barnet council. That’s a projected likelihood of 58%, while it appears highly unlikely that there will be no overall control.

There are 63 seats within the council but the number of wards will increase from 21 to 24. Barnet has never voted for a Labour council majority and only twice – in 1994 and 1998 – were the Tories not in control.

Labour leader Barry Rawlings senses victory here in a traditionally Thatcherite ‘true blue’ town hall.

Hartlepool Council – Projected Hold For No Overall Control

The Conservatives sensationally won Hartlepool at the 2021 by-election in what was considered a complete upending of traditional party voting. Hartlepool had always been a Labour stronghold but Jill Mortimer’s victory was taken as proof that Johnsonian politics was reaching even further north.

Fast-forward a year and Labour doesn’t appear likely to claim the local council in Hartlepool – but neither do the Tories. William Hill reckons Hartlepool’s council has a 75% chance (1/3) of having no overall control at this election.

That would reflect its current position. The council has never been in Conservative control and there are only 13 of 36 seats being voted on this year. The odds of a Tory majority sit at 9/4 (31% chance).

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Worthing Council – Projected Swing To Labour

Worthing has traditionally been a Conservative or Liberal Democrat-led council. And the 2021 election saw the Tories once again claim a majority – albeit by the slenderest of one-seat margins. Subsequently a Conservative councillor became an independent, and they also lost a by-election.

It means currently Worthing Council has no overall majority. Yet Labour is primed to take control. Political betting sites have Labour down as the 1/2 favourites (66.7% likelihood) to win at least 19 seats here. 

Conversely, the Conservatives are out at 13/2 (13.3%). It’s also possible that we will have no overall control once again, but Labour – who claim retirees are £389 worse off under the Tories – will be eyeing a win here, that’s for sure.

Havering Council – Projected Hold For No Overall Control

The Conservatives would dearly love to reclaim Havering, with the council having had no overall control from any party since 2014. And while Labour are in no position to command a majority here, the Conservatives are facing an uphill battle.

The reason for this is the Havering Residents Association, which commands 16 of the 54 seats. However, the Conservatives themselves have been power-sharing a majority with another residents group.

The complexity of the council make-up means another ‘No Overall Control’ result is likely at 4/11 (73%). But the Tories are 2/1 to claim the council for themselves – and that would prove a big win were a majority to be secured.

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Stockport Council – Projected Hold For No Overall Control

The Conservatives have no real dog in this fight, with Labour and the Lib Dems battling for supremacy in Stockport council. Betting sites are once again banking on no overall majority, with a price remarkably low at 1/7 with Ladbrokes (87.5% likelihood).

The reason for this is only one third of the 63 seats are up for election this season. Labour currently has 25 seats and the Lib Dems 26, so neither can claim a majority unless they win practically every ward going.

The Women’s Equality Party, Reform UK and Stockport Fights Austerity No to Cuts are all vying for votes here.

Newcastle-under-Lyme – Projected Swing To Conservatives

The Conservatives currently have acting control of the Newcastle-under-Lyme council after four independents propped up the party in November 2021. 

Labour had been just three seats off a majority themselves during the last election in 2018 but now face a difficult challenge to keep the Tories from controlling the council once again.

All 44 seats across 21 wards are up for grabs this May – and the Tories are being tipped to win. They’re priced at 23/20 (47% likelihood), while Labour is down at 11/4 in the bookmakers’ odds (26% likelihood).

This year both Labour and the Conservatives are running candidates in all 44 seats available. Gill and John Williams – the Labour councillors who have held Cross Heath ward for 30 years – are once again running.