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North-south divide widens in LGA representation figures

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The full extent of regional variations in party support emerged last week when the LGA published the final figures for the strength of each party in its membership.

While Labour was dominant in the north-east, north-west and London, getting over 60% of the LGA representation for these regions, the Conservatives did best in the south-east and eastern regions, but they failed to get 60% in any region.

The Liberal Democrats’ heartlands were in the south-east and south-west but it was only in the latter region that the party got more than 20% of support.

Each party’s strength has emerged in the series of calculations the LGA runs each year to ensure the political representation on its governance structures is proportionate to the number of councillors parties hold nationwide. In two-tier areas a 50% weighting is applied to each councillor to reflect the fact that their electorate votes for two separate councils.

Across the whole of England and Wales, Labour is now the biggest party with 40.6% of LGA representation, followed by the Conservatives with 38.3% and the Liberal Democrats with 10.8%. A tenth of the representation is not from the big three parties.

In comparison, last year, the Conservatives won 39.4%, Labour 38.8% and the Liberal Democrats gained 12.9%, with others scoring 8.5%.

This year constituted the first in a decade in which Labour was the dominant party at the LGA.

In Wales - where members are also subject to a 50% weighting in the LGA’s governance - Labour this year secured 49% of representation, with “others” making up 23% and Plaid Cymru making up 12%.

Regional variations



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