The exterior of a library building used as a polling station, at dusk.

This is how the votes were distributed in the 2024 local elections, and what the councils look like now in terms of seats.

Greater Manchester votes

If we just add up all the votes from across all ten GM boroughs, here’s how the votes are distributed:

Labour - 44.26%
Conservative - 17.11%
Liberal Democrats - 11.32%
Green - 10.29%
Reform UK - 2.06%
UKIP - 0.01%
Workers Party - 2.49%
Communist Future - 0.03%
Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition - 0.05%
Women's Equality Party - 0.07%
Party of Women - 0.02%
English Democrats - 0.05%
Northern Heart - 0.03%
National Housing Party - 0.03%
Independent - 12.17%
* UKIP, Communist Future, Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition, Party of Women, English Democrats, Northern Heart and National Housing Party all polled below 0.1%.

But if we look at the number of seats you’d expect based on the proportional vote, it doesn’t match the actual number of seats gained by the parties. Labour won about 50% more seats than we’d expect from the distribution of votes, and they were the only party to benefit disproportionately from our first-past-the-post system. The Conservatives lost out, with 54% fewer seats than expected; as did the Greens with a 77% hit to the number of seats their vote share represented. All of the smaller parties, including the Workers Party, had their vote diluted by the larger parties – as we might expect – but all of these parties stood in just one or two, sometimes a handful, of wards. Some only stood in one council area.

The two parties whose vote share was accurately reflected in the seat allocations were the Liberal Democrats and independent candidates. They achieved roughly the right number of seats based on the maths. But the large number of successful independent candidates is both unusual and part of a trend. You’d expect independents to be at a disadvantage against the finances, media coverage and influence of the larger political parties – but organised local campaigns have led to success for independents pressing their council on borough-specific issues. Many of these candidates sought and gained re-election following the recent increase in the number of independent councillors across the whole nation.

Party% vote shareExpected (%) seatsActual seats
Lib Dems11.32%2521
Reform UK2.06%40
Workers Party2.49%53
Communist Future0.03%00
Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition0.05%00
Women’s Equality Party0.07%00
Party of Women0.02%00
English Democrats0.05%00
Northern Heart0.03%00
National Housing Party0.03%00


Bolton remains in no overall control, with a Labour leader. Independents and the Green Party have further eroded the Labour minority administration.

Labour - 34.4%
Conservative - 19.8%
Liberal Democrats - 7.6%
Green - 9.1%
Reform UK & Bolton for Change - 9.3%
UKIP - 0.1%
Workers Party - 1.9%
Independent - 17.7%


Bury Council remains under Labour control, having increased their majority by one seat.

Labour - 45.9%
Conservative - 26.2%
Liberal Democrats - 3.9%
Green - 2.7%
Reform UK - 1.0%
Workers Party - 3.0%
English Democrats - 0.6%
Independent - 16.8%


No surprises that Manchester City Council remains a Labour council, but smaller parties retain their opposition numbers. The election of a Workers Party candidate, ousting the deputy leader, was notable, and highlights that international issues do matter on the local level.

Labour - 54.7%
Conservative - 6.2%
Liberal Democrats - 10.9%
Green - 17.7%
Workers Party - 5.4%
Communist Future - 0.1%
Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition - 0.1%
Women's Equality Party - 0.1%
Independent - 4.9%


Oldham Council fell to no overall control from being a Labour-held council prior to the election, due to the loss of Labour seats to independent candidates. However, these independents’ politics may not all align with each other, so expect plenty of discord in council meetings.

Oldham local election 2024 vote share
Labour - 29.1%
Conservative - 13.1%
Liberal DEmocrats - 14.2%
Green - 1.7%
Reform UK - 1.1%
Northern Heart - 0.4%
National Housing Party - 0.3%
Independent - 40.1%


Labour lost two seats to the Workers Party, but still hold the most seats. It’s perhaps surprising that the Workers Party didn’t do better here – they stood candidates in 13 of 20 wards.

Rochdale local election 2024 vote share
Labour - 42.1%
Conservative - 18.5%
Liberal Democrats - 11.8%
Green - 3.0%
Workers Party - 13.4%
Reform UK - 1.5%
Independent - 9.7%


Like Manchester, Salford is solidly Labour-controlled. They gained one seat from the Conservatives this election.

Salford local election 2024 vote share
Labour - 58.3%
Conservative - 20.7%
Liberal Democrats - 5.6%
Green - 12.5%
Reform UK - 0.6%
Communist Party of Britain - 0.1%
Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition - 0.4%
Women's Equality Party - 0.5%
Independent - 1.2%


The Liberal Democrats increased their majority in Stockport, at the expense of Labour. Green and Independent candidates retained their seats.

Stockport local election 2024 vote share
Labour - 31.7%
Conservative - 16.7%
Liberal Democrats - 34.2%
Green - 10.9%
Reform UK - 1.4%
Women's Equality Party - 0.1%
Party of Women - 0.2%
Independent - 4.8%


Tameside Council remained under Labour control, but with two seats lost to independent candidates. No change for the Tories on 7 seats out of 57.

Tameside local election 2024 vote share
Labour - 52.1%
Conservative - 20.3%
Liberal Democrats - 1.5%
Green - 17.6%
Workers Party - 0.6%
Independent - 8.0%


The decline of Trafford’s Conservatives continued with two more seats falling to theLabour majority. The Lib Dems and Greens maintained their numbers.

Trafford local election 2024 vote share
Labour - 41.9%
Conservative - 25.2%
Liberal Democrats - 11.4%
Green - 17.8%
Reform UK - 2.3%
Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition - 0.1%
Independent - 1.2%


Not much change here. Labour maintained their sizeable hold of the council with no change in their seats, but the Conservatives are now down to just one councillor.

Wigan local election 2024 vote share
Labour - 51.7%
Conservative - 15.1%
Liberal Democrats - 2.7%
Green - 2.6%
Reform UK - 3.2%
Workers Party - 0.2%
Independent - 24.4%

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Featured image: Kacy Preen

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  • Kacy Preen

    Kacy is co-editor and organiser at The Meteor, and has lived in Manchester for 20+ years. They are interested in local politics and property development. Kacy is a member of the Trans Journalists Association.


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