1980 United Kingdom local elections
Local elections were held in the United Kingdom in 1980. These were the first annual local elections for the new Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Though the Conservatives in government lost seats, the projected share of the vote was close: Labour Party 42%, Conservative Party 40%, Liberal Party 13%. Labour were still being led by the former prime minister James Callaghan, who resigned later in the year to be succeeded by Michael Foot.
All 36 metropolitan boroughs, 103 out of 296 English districts and all 53 Scottish districts
Labour gained 601 seats, bringing their number of councillors to 8,011. The Conservatives lost 484 seats, leaving them with 11,738 councillors. The Liberal Party gained 90 seats and finished with 1,149 councillors.
Changes in control of councils were as follows:
- Labour gain from no overall control: Amber Valley, Birmingham, Kirklees, Leeds, Peterborough, Rochdale, Walsall, Wolverhampton
- Labour gain from Conservative: Bolton, Bradford, Hyndburn, Oldham, Oxford, Preston, Tamworth, Worcester
- Conservative lose to no overall control: Calderdale, Daventry, Dudley, Great Yarmouth, Hastings, Rushmoor, Shrewsbury and Atcham, Weymouth and Portland
- Liberal gain from Conservative: Adur
- Independent gain from no overall control: Mole Valley
Summary of results
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In 17 metropolitan boroughs the whole council was up for election.
In 17 boroughs there were new ward boundaries, following electoral boundary reviews by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.
|Bolton ‡||Conservative||Labour gain||Details|
|Bradford ‡||Conservative||Labour gain||Details|
|Calderdale ‡||Conservative||No overall control gain||Details|
|Coventry ‡||Labour||Labour hold||Details|
|Doncaster ‡||Labour||Labour hold||Details|
|Leeds ‡||No overall control||Labour gain||Details|
|Liverpool ‡||No overall control||No overall control hold||Details|
|Rochdale ‡||No overall control||Labour gain||Details|
|Rotherham ‡||Labour||Labour hold||Details|
|Sheffield ‡||Labour||Labour hold||Details|
|St Helens ‡||Labour||Labour hold||Details|
|Stockport ‡||Conservative||Conservative hold||Details|
|Tameside ‡||Labour||Labour hold||Details|
|Trafford ‡||Conservative||Conservative hold||Details|
|Walsall ‡||No overall control||Labour gain||Details|
|Wigan ‡||Labour||Labour hold||Details|
|Wirral ‡||Conservative||Conservative hold||Details|
‡ New ward boundaries
Third of council
19 metropolitan borough councils had one third of their seats up for election.
|Birmingham||No overall control||Labour gain||Details|
|Dudley||Conservative||No overall control gain||Details|
|Kirklees||No overall control||Labour gain||Details|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||Labour||Labour hold||Details|
|North Tyneside||Labour||Labour hold||Details|
|South Tyneside||Labour||Labour hold||Details|
|Wolverhampton||No overall control||Labour gain||Details|
In 103 districts one third of the council was up for election.
A further 59 councils had passed a resolution under section 7 (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972, requesting a system of elections by thirds. They could do so because they had had their new ward boundaries introduced at the 1979 elections.
‡ New ward boundaries