Across East Anglia and the South of England, elections are taking place at 44 district councils and 13 unitary authorities, with one Mayoral seat also up for grabs.
Only five councils are holding all-out elections, meaning that there is reduced potential for any huge changes in the balance of power at many authorities. Indeed, overwhelming Conservative majorities at some councils makes it mathematically impossible for them to lose control. However, with nearly half of the councils with seats up for grabs currently controlled by the Conservatives (along with several more Conservative-led minority administrations), they stand as the party with the most to lose.
Labour will be hoping that their recent boost in the polls nationally will convert into increased support at the ballot box, whilst the Lib Dems will expect to retain their mayoralty in Watford and hope to make modest gains elsewhere. However, recent local elections across England have seen a surge in support for Lib Dem and independent councillors, and the Chesham & Amersham by-election result is still prominent in the minds of many councillors and candidates.
With many authorities in the region already delaying or scrapping Local Plans in the face of substantial community opposition and with incumbents losing various council by-elections to candidates running on an anti-development ticket, the 2022 elections are still ones to closely watch in the South of England and East Anglia.