Barking and Dagenham

Firmly Labour authority, with the strongest recent challenge coming from the BNP who held 12 council seats from 2006-2010. The council area covers two parliamentary constituencies; Barking and Dagenham & Rainham, represented by Labour MPs Margaret Hodge and John Cruddas respectively. Designated as a national priority for urban regeneration, and has one of the lowest levels of new businesses moving to the area in London. The majority of residents in the borough live on the Becontree Estate, built by the former London County Council in the 1920s and 30s.

Composition

Labour majority - 50 Labour - 1 independent

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Darren Rodwell (Alibon, Labour)

Barnet

London suburb home to Margaret Thatcher’s old seat. Now a marginal borough, although the Conservatives have been in control since 2002. Labour has been targeting heavily following close results in the 2017 General Election. One of the furthest northern boroughs, Barnet stretches from Golders Green in the south to High Barnet and Hertfordshire border in the North.

Composition

Conservative majority - 30 Labour - 32 Conservatives - 1 Liberal Democrat

Leadership

Leadership- Cllr Richard Cornelius (Totteridge, Conservative)

Bromley

One of London’s few remaining Conservative strongholds, the former market town of Bromley shares a close affinity with neighbouring Kent. Green belt development has long been the dominant political issue in this outer London borough, with the Conservatives in 2014 pledging to continue ‘fighting inappropriate development’. Whilst the Conservative Group are expecting to do well next May, parts of Bromley saw an 11.2% uplift in the Labour vote during the general election in 2017, although the Conservatives also increased their vote share slightly, likely a result of the UKIP vote collapsing.

Composition

Conservative majority - 7 Labour - 51 Conservatives - 2 UKIP

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Stephen Carr (Bromley Common and Keston, Conservative)

Camden

Central/North London Labour heartland. In outright control by the Labour group for most of its history, although governed by a Lib Dem-Conservative coalition from 2006 to 2010. Home to Labour MPs Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the EU Sir Keir Starmer and Tulip Siddiq MP. The borough has undergone significant regeneration in recent years although high levels of poverty remain. Stretches from the affluent suburb of Hampstead, a Conservative stronghold, in the north to Holborn in the south.

Composition

Labour majority - 39 Labour - 11 Conservatives - 1 Liberal Democrat - 1 Green - 2 independent

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Georgia Gould (Kentish Town, Labour)

Croydon

South London swing borough. The second most populous London authority, Croydon stretches all the way from Norwood in the north down to Coulsdon in the south, on the border with leafy Surrey. The stark differences between the north and south are evident in the political divide, with Labour dominating in the north and the Conservatives in the south. The battle for the centre will once again be key as the Conservatives look to win back the control they lost in 2014, though the loss of the Croydon Central parliamentary seat to Labour’s Sarah Jones in the general election will be fresh in their minds.

Composition

Labour majority - 39 Labour - 29 Conservatives - 2 independent

Leadership

Leadership- Cllr Tony Newman (Woodside, Labour)

Ealing

A safe Labour borough, albeit one with a recent history of Conservative control from 2006-2010. Forming part of outer west London, Ealing is the third most populous borough. The largest single ethnic group is Indian with British Asians accounting for 51% of the population and home ownership also at 51% of the population. Labour’s firm grasp on the area was demonstrated at the snap general election which saw Rupa Huq MP turning a slim majority of 274 in Ealing Central and Acton to a winning margin of over 13,000.

Composition

Labour majority - 53 Labour - 12 Conservatives - 4 Liberal Democrat

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Julian Bell (Greenford Broadway, Labour)

Enfield

An outer London Borough which was historically a market town and home to the world’s first cash machine, Enfield has now grown to become a large residential suburb with speedy transport links to Central London. Labour currently controls the Council with a strong majority, although it was controlled by the Conservatives as recently as the period between 2002 and 2010. The area is home to large Greek and Cypriot populations and elected its first Cypriot Labour MP, Bambos Charalambous, in June 2017 resulting in the defeat of sitting Conservative MP David Burrowes.

Composition

Labour majority - 42 Labour - 22 Conservatives - 1 independent

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Doug Taylor (Ponders End, Labour)

Greenwich

Home to the Prime Meridian and the Emirates Air Line, Greenwich was given Royal Borough status in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II. With a waterfront as long as 8.5 miles the borough is bounded by Bexley to the east and Bromley to the south, both strong Conservative areas. It is considered to be a safe Labour Borough, however the opposition from the Conservative Party is strong with the party priding themselves in giving Labour a strong and constructive opposition.

Composition

Labour majority - 42 Labour - 9 Conservatives

Leadership

Hackney

Highly diverse East London borough stretching from Shoreditch in the south to Stamford Hill in the North. Outside two brief periods of no overall control, Labour has controlled the council with solid majorities since 1971. Although a Labour stronghold, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives have traditionally dominated wards in the north of the borough home to the hackney’s large Hasidic Jewish population. Led by directly-elected Mayor Philip Glanville since September 2016 following the resignation of former Mayor Jules Pipe, who now heads up Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Planning, Regeneration and Skills team as Deputy Mayor of London.

Composition

Labour majority - 50 Labour - 4 Conservatives - 3 Liberal Democrat

Leadership

Leadership – Mayor Philip Glanville (Directly-elected Mayor, Labour)

Hillingdon

The western most borough in London and also the second largest by area, Hillingdon is also home to Heathrow Airport, whose expansion plans regularly dominate local politics. Currently led by the Conservatives although there is a significant Labour Group and the authority has changed hands regularly since its inception in 1964, last seeing Labour control from 1994-1998. The diversity within the borough is illustrated with it being the political home of both Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell.

Composition

Conservative majority - 23 Labour - 42 Conservatives

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Ray Puddifoot (Ickenham, Conservative)

Hounslow

This Labour-dominated West London borough has seen the party enjoy overall control in 35 of the last 42 years. The borough includes Chiswick, Brentford, Isleworth and Feltham, as well as Hounslow itself and it borders Surrey to the west. Sitting on the banks of the Thames, the Borough is overshadowed by the planning and employment issues from the neighbouring Heathrow Airport. In 2014, Labour strengthened their performance, taking 49 council seats to the 11 Conservative (and sole opposition seats). Since 2015, Labour have also dominated local Parliamentary representation, returning Ruth Cadbury MP and Seema Malhotra MP to represent the area.

Composition

Labour majority - 48 Labour - 11 Conservatives - 1 independent

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Steve Curran (Syon, Labour)

Islington

Labour’s North London heartlands. Stretches from Clerkenwell and the edges of the City in the south, to Highgate Hill and Finsbury Park in the north. Home to Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry MP. Caricatured as the pinnacle of the metropolitan elite but home to significant levels of urban poverty and deprivation. Currently Green Party London Assembly Member and Highbury East councillor Caroline Russell is the sole opposition member, although the authority was controlled by the Liberal Democrats as recently as 2010.

Composition

Labour majority - 47 Labour - 1 Green

Leadership

Leadership- Cllr Richard Watts (Tollington, Labour)

Kensington and Chelsea

One of the wealthiest boroughs in London, it has been under Conservative control consistently since 1964, but there are signs this could be under threat. Former Deputy Mayor of London Victoria Borwick recently had her 7,361 vote Kensington majority overturned by Labour councillor Emma Dent-Coad in a shock general election result. The council has also been mired in controversy following its response to the Grenfell Tower fire, which resulted in former Leader Nicholas Paget-Brown being forced to step down. It spans from Chelsea in the South to Kensal Green and Ladbroke Grove in the North. Also home to Minister for London Rt Hon Greg Hands MP.

Composition

Conservative majority - 11 Labour - 37 Conservatives - 2 Liberal Democrat

Leadership

Leadership- Cllr Elizabeth Campbell (Royal Hospital, Conservative)

Kingston upon Thames

With a more middle-class and less ethnically diverse population than the London average, the outer London authority shares far more of its border with Surrey to the south than it does with either Merton to the east or Richmond to the west. The Conservatives ended 12 years of Lib Dem control in the last election to win their first majority on the council since 1986. However, the Lib Dems will be buoyed going into the election campaign by the re-election of former Energy and Climate Secretary Ed Davey in the general election following a strong targeted campaign.

Composition

Conservative majority - 2 Labour - 27 Conservatives - 18 Liberal Democrat

Leadership

Leadership - Cllr Kevin Davis (Old Malden, Conservative)

Lambeth

Similar to its south-of-the-river neighbour Southwark, Lambeth showed strong returns for the Labour Party in 2014 and the party is expected to perform well again in May 2018. Sprawled over three Westminster constituencies (Vauxhall, Streatham and Dulwich & West Norwood) the borough is bookended by the affluent Southbank in the north and leafy West Norwood in the south. Whilst the north of the borough has historically enjoyed high levels of investment, this has only slowly moved south towards Brixton.

Composition

Labour majority - 58 Labour - 3 Conservatives - 1 Green - 1 independent

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Lib Peck (Thornton, Labour)

Lewisham

Labour-dominated South London borough led by one of London’s four directly elected Mayors, alongside Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham. The current Mayor, Sir Steve Bullock, will not seek re-election in 2018, whilst Labour’s candidate (who is almost certain to retain the Mayoralty) will be Cllr Damian Egan, (currently the authority's Cabinet Member Housing). The northern reaches of the borough in New Cross, Deptford and Lewisham are experiencing significant regeneration and investment, whilst the southern town centres of Ladywell, Forest Hill and Hither Green retain a more suburban character.

Composition

Labour majority - 53 Labour - 1 Green

Leadership

Leadership - Mayor Sir Steve Bullock (Directly-elected Mayor, Labour)

Merton

Labour-run South London borough with a significant opposition Conservative Group. Home to the All England Club, whose famous tennis tournament at Wimbledon brings 500,000 people to the borough each year, and steeped in political history with the Statutes of Merton that underpin the basis of common law in England being signed here. Labour regained control of the council in 2014 after a period of no overall control. Prime Minister Theresa May was a councillor in the borough from 1986 to 1994.

Composition

Labour majority - 36 Labour - 20 Conservatives - 1 Liberal Democrat - 3 independent

Leadership

Leadership- Cllr Stephen Alambritis (Ravensbury, Labour)

Newham

East London borough stretching from the historic Royal Victoria and Royal Albert (now London City Airport) docks in the south, to rapidly growing Stratford, Maryland and Forest Gate in the north. The borough has strong connections to the Labour Party, with first Labour MP Keir Hardie elected in 1892 to represent the West Ham South constituency. Labour’s historic grasp on local politics continues to this day, with the party taking all 60 of the council’s seats at the 2014 local elections

Composition

Labour majority - 59 Labour - 1 independent

Leadership

Leadership - Mayor Sir Robin Wales (Directly-elected Mayor, Labour)

Richmond upon Thames

An area synonymous with leafy middle-class London, Richmond’s 100+ parks and open spaces make up half of the land in the borough, alongside the 21 miles of Thames river frontage. Since the council was created, there has been a regular yo-yo of political control between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, but the coalition-induced demise of the LibDems saw the Conservatives take a majority in 2010 and extend it still further in 2014, outnumbering the opposition by 39 to 15 seats. The local political split extends to Parliament where Vince Cable MP and Zac Goldsmith MP are the two local household name representatives.

Composition

Conservative majority - 1 Labour - 38 Conservatives - 15 Liberal Democrat

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Paul Hodgins (Barnes, Conservative)

Southwark

Southwark stretches from the iconic landmarks of London Bridge, the Shard and the Tate Modern alongside the River Thames south through Peckham and Camberwell to the leafy suburb of Dulwich, former retirement home of Lady Thatcher bordering Crystal Palace Park. Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes’s parliamentary stronghold of North Southwark and Bermondsey fell to Labour’s Neil Coyle in 2015, and the Labour seat of Camberwell and Peckham has been represented since 1982 by Harriet Harman. Helen Hayes inherited Tessa Jowell’s safe seat of Dulwich and West Norwood in 2015. Labour dominates the Council with pockets of Liberal Democrat support in the north of the borough and two Tory councillors in Dulwich Village.

Composition

Labour majority - 48 Labour - 2 Conservatives - 13 Liberal Democrat

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Peter John (South Camberwell, Labour)

Sutton

A key battle ground between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives. Stretching from Bedding South, to Worcester Park and beyond to the Surrey borders, Sutton is one of the most affluent boroughs in the capital. It has become a heartland for the Liberal Democrats who have controlled the council since 1990. With the Lib Dems having taken a combined thirteen seats from the Conservatives in the past two sets of elections, leaving the Conservatives with only nine seats, the Tories face a daunting challenge in 2018 to prove they remain politically relevant in Sutton.

Composition

Liberal majority - 8 Conservatives - 44 Liberal Democrat - 2 independent

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Ruth Dombey (Sutton North, Liberal Democrat)

Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets consists of what is popularly known as the traditional “East End” of London, including Whitechapel, Stepney and Bethnal Green, sitting alongside the regenerated areas of Canary Wharf and Docklands. It houses some of the city’s most spectacular sky lines - and differences in wealth. The diversity of the borough is reflected in the rainbow of political colours represented on the Council, including Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, two separate Independent groups and the People’s Alliance. Tower Hamlets has been dogged with controversy over electoral fraud and poor governance, culminating in the removal from public office of the directly elected Mayor Lutfur Rahman in 2015 and appointment of Secretary of State Commissioners to run the Council. Labour’s Jim Fitzpatrick and Rushanara Ali hold the two parliamentary seats, and the new Mayor is now John Biggs.

Composition

No overall majority - 22 Labour - 5 Conservatives - 1 Liberal Democrat - 17 independent

Leadership

Leadership - Mayor John Biggs (Directly-elected Mayor, Labour)

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest has been a Labour dominated authority since 2010, when the local Liberal Democrat vote collapsed as they entered coalition government, leaving the Conservatives as the sole opposition on the council. The area is represented by Labour’s John Cryer MP in Westminster, the Leytonstone and Wanstead MP is a Brexiteer to be found on the left of the Labour party, as well as Stella Creasy and Iain Duncan Smith. An area of both affluence and mild deprivation, Labour has to be proactive in straddling these two electoral demographics alongside the expectations and scrutiny put on a long-time incumbent administration.

Composition

Labour majority - 43 Labour - 16 Conservatives - 1 independent

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Claire Coghill (High Street, Labour)

Wandsworth

Wandsworth reaches from Tooting in the south up to the river, and across from Balham in the east to Roehampton in the west. One of the wealthiest London boroughs by average income outside of the city, Wandsworth Council has been staunchly Tory since 1978. But the loss of Battersea to Labour was one of the shock results on general election night 2017 and was combined with sizable swings to Labour in both Putney and Tooting. The Labour Party is putting significant resources into the borough, in the hope it can secure an upset and seize control of the council in 2018.

Composition

Conservative majority - 19 Labour - 36 Conservatives - 2 independent

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Ravi Govindia (East Putney, Conservative)

Harrow

The Labour run London Borough of Harrow sits on a knife edge. After a series of changes in leadership, the borough is currently led by the Labour Party's Cllr Sachin Shah. The borough voted Conservative during the 2016 GLA elections, but like elsewhere in London, Labour will be hoping to build on their London success at the General Election. In Westminster, Harrow East is represented by the Bob Blackman MP for the Conservatives, whilst Harrow West is represented by Gareth Thomas for the Labour Party. Harrow West saw a 13.9% swing to Labour at the 2017 General Election and in Harrow East saw a swing of 0.9% against the Conservatives.

Composition

Labour majority - 32 Labour - 27 Conservatives - 1 Liberal Democrat - 3 independent

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Sachin Shah (Queensbury, Labour)

Bexley

The London Borough of Bexley has been run by the Conservatives since 2006. Bexley’s Conservative association includes the Rt. Hon. David Evennett MP and a host of 45 Conservative local councillors. Key issues ahead of next year’s local elections are likely to be crime and policing, transport, education and the ever present issues of fly-tipping and bins. The council is led by Councillor Teresa O'Neill OBE, a close ally of the Boris Johnson during his time as London Mayor and member of Sadiq Khan’s fire commission.

Composition

Conservative majority - 15 Labour - 45 Conservatives - 3 UKIP

Leadership

Westminster

True-blue inner West London borough, which the Conservatives have controlled since its inception in 1964. Stretches from Pimlico on the banks of the Thames to St John’s Wood and Maida Vale in the north, taking in much of London’s West End, Mayfair and Belgravia. Robust opposition is provided via Labour’s consistent representation in the Church Street, Queen’s Park, Harrow Road and Westbourne wards (where the majority of the borough’s social housing stock can be found), but the comparative affluence of Westminster’s other environs means the authority is likely to continue to be Tory-led for some years to come. Westminster North is represented in Parliament by Labour’s Karen Buck MP, whilst the south of the borough is represented by Cities of London and Westminster MP Mark Field.

Composition

Conservative majority - 15 Labour - 45 Conservatives

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Nickie Aiken (Warwick, Conservative)

Haringey

A firmly Labour North London borough, with the party having controlled the council continuously since 1971. The Liberal Democrats, long the main opposition on the council, reached a high watermark of 27 seats between 2006 and 2010 but were reduced to single figures in the 2014 elections. The borough is split in two both physically and socio-economically by the east coast mainline railway, with affluent Stroud Green, Crouch End, Hornsey and Muswell Hill lying to the west of the tracks, and more down-to-earth Wood Green, Harringay, Tottenham and Northumberland Park lie to the east. Represented in Parliament by former Islington Council leader Catherine West (Hornsey and Wood Green, Labour) and former Junior Minister David Lammy (Tottenham, Labour).

Composition

Labour majority - 49 Labour - 8 Liberal Democrat

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Claire Kober (Seven Sisters, Labour)

Havering

Independents are split between the Resident’s Group (11 seats), East Havering Residents' Group (8 seats) and the Independent Residents' Group (5 seats). Conservative-led coalition administration in outer London, supported by the East Havering Residents' Group. Home to London’s largest UKIP Group, with 5 councillors. Spiritually considers itself closer to surrounding Essex than to metropolitan London, exemplified by the fact talk of a referendum to break free from the capital remains a live political issue.

Composition

No overall majority - 2 Labour - 22 Conservatives - 24 independent - 6 UKIP

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Roger Ramsey (Emerson Park, Conservative)

Hammersmith and Fulham

Bell weather marginal borough. The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham shocked many pundits in 2014 when Labour took control of the council. Since then Labour have entrenched their position with two strong by-election results and a 13.9% swing during 2017's General Election. The Labour administration is ambitious and wasted no time reviewing several key policy areas, including around regeneration, local business, investment and infrastructure. These issues are likely to feature heavily again in next year's local election pledges, with Labour looking to take additional seats from the Conservatives, and this narrative may play well with former Conservative voters frustrated at Brexit and the national party.

Composition

Labour majority - 26 Labour - 20 Conservatives

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Stephen Cowan (Hammersmith Broadway, Labour)

Brent

Labour dominated-borough situated in North West London. The authority’s new civic centre located in the rapidly regenerating area around Wembley Stadium could be seen as symbolic of the change this area is undergoing, in both demographic and physical terms. The Liberal Democrats had previously been a potent opposition in the borough, even taking the most seats (27) in 2006 leading to a period of no overall control, but the coalition government saw an end to their representation on the council in 2014. The area is represented by three Labour MPs in Dawn Butler, Barry Gardiner and Tulip Siddiq.

Composition

Labour majority - 54 Labour - 2 Conservatives - 5 independent

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Muhammed Butt (Tokyngton, Labour)

Redbridge

The London Borough of Redbridge has been run by the Labour Party since 2014. Although there is a strong opposition on the council, with Labour holding 36 out of the 63 council seats, the local party is likely to be buoyed by the results of the 2017 General Election. Labour’s Wes Streeting was re-elected with a swing of 13.9% and a majority of nearly 10,000. With a massive turnout in 2017, such dramatic results may be difficult to replicate on a local level, but Labour are likely to increase their hold on the council next year nonetheless.

Composition

Labour majority - 36 Labour - 24 Conservatives - 3 Liberal Democrat

Leadership

Leadership – Cllr Jas Athwal (Mayfield, Labour)

Click on each borough to see an overview, council composition and leadership.

Enfield Barnet Harrow Hillingdon Ealing Hounslow Merton Sutton Croydon Bromley Bexley Greenwich Lewisham Wandsworth Lambeth Southwark Newham Barking &Dagenham Havering Redbridge WalthamForest Haringey Camden Brent Islington Hackney Hammersmith& Fulham Kensington& Chelsea City ofWestminster City ofLondon TowerHamlets Richmond Upon Thames Kingston Upon Thames