Local elections

The London Intelligence – Snapshot of Londoners – Spring 2022

Local elections

Londoners see council tax, national issues and quality of local social care services as their top 3 election priorities

As the cost of living crisis deepens, Londoners were most likely to include levels of council tax in the top 3 priorities in determining their vote in the upcoming May local elections. Council tax increases are capped to 3 per cent by government (excluding a social care precept), and while this is lower than the level of inflation (6 per cent in the last 12 months), Londoners will be noticing the increase to their bills.

Londoners aged 16-24, a large proportion of whom do not pay council tax as under 18s, dependents, or students, are least likely to prioritise council tax in their vote. The issue’s importance rises with age, peaking at the 55-64 age group, 56 per cent of whom placed council tax in their top 3 priorities for the local elections. The issue’s decreased importance for 65+ Londoners, by comparison, is potentially due to the number of retirees who do not pay council tax as recipients of Pension Credit.

National issues are the second most important factor in determining Londoners’ votes this May, though this varies on a party political basis. Those intending to vote Labour are significantly more likely to do so for reasons concerning national politics than Liberal Democrats and Greens.

Issues only directly affecting a portion of the population, like the quality of local schools, tend to rank lower in priorities for the general population. However this isn’t true of social care – which comes out in third place of issues Londoners say they will vote on. This high level of concern about social care may be linked to the impact of the pandemic on older people – as the general population recognises the importance of social care to support older people.

The implementation of traffic control measures which restrict car usage and promote more cycling ranked lowest – just 12 per cent considered this to be a key factor in their vote, although this also fluctuated based on political preference. Green Party voters were more likely to see this as an important issue (18 per cent), in comparison to Labour (11 per cent) and Conservative (12 per cent) counterparts.