Your guide to the 2021 Local Elections in the ITV Anglia region

While the Conservatives have the most to celebrate from the Super Thursday elections in 2021 making sweeping gains across the Anglia region, the other parties can take some comfort from the results.

It has taken most of the weekend but all 25 councils with elections in the East have now completed their counts and the Tories gained an additional 33 councillors out of the 875 elected on Thursday.

  • The Conservatives gained control of councils in Basildon, Harlow and Welwyn Hatfield but lost their overall majority on Cambridgeshire County Council.

  • Labour lost 48 councillors, control of Harlow council but won the hotly contested race to be the new metro mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, ousting the Conservative incumbent.

  • The Liberal Democrats made gains in Hertfordshire reducing the Tory majority on the county council and took control of St Albans council

  • The Greens more than doubled their standing in the region with an additional 16 councillors and the party is now the main opposition on Suffolk County Council

  • The Conservatives have won all the Police & Crime Commissioner elections that have so far been declared in the region. Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire and Thames Valley are counting on Monday

Interactive map showing the results of Election 2021 in each area of the Anglia region

James Palmer has been unseated as mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in Labour's one main victory of the 2021 local elections.

Dr Nik Johnson, an NHS children's doctor, took the post from the incumbent James Palmer after two rounds of voting.

But it was set against a backdrop of Conservative gains in most other areas.

The Conservatives took back control of Harlow in Essex after Labour were in power for nearly a decade and have run the council for 38 of the past 48 years since.

They also regained the overall majority they lost in Basildon two years ago but lost their overall majority in Castle Point where Independents are now the largest grouping.

There were also large Tory majorities on both of Northamptonshire's new unitary authorities, which were elected for the first time this year.

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Bedfordshire | Cambridgeshire | Essex | Hertfordshire | Milton Keynes | Norfolk | Northamptonshire | Suffolk

In Milton Keynes, the Conservatives became the largest party after picking up over half the seats on offer but the council remains hung with no one party having enough seats to out-vote all the others.

But the Conservatives were thrown out of power on Cambridgeshire County Council following gains from the Liberal Democrats and Labour.

The Greens have trebled their standing on Suffolk County Council, becoming the official opposition.

Peterborough, Colchester, North Hertfordshire and Southend councils remain hung.

Labour retained flagship councils in Norwich, Ipswich and Cambridge but came within a whisker of losing power on Stevenage Council for the first time since it was created in 1973.

The overall tally of local council election results in the Anglia region

The pandemic has postponed elections for a year so there is a double set of ballots this year.

Polling stations closed at 10pm on Thursday across the country but only a few counts took place overnight and they were mainly in Essex.

Hundreds of election staff have been working through the weekend to process results for as many as four or five different polls in some areas.

There were elections for councillors, Police & Crime Commissioners, elected metro mayors and in some places local planning referendums.

Election counting underway in the shadow of a Douglas Dakota in a hangar at North Weald Airfield in Essex Credit: Epping Forest District Council

County councils along with district, city and borough councils are responsible for running local services like schools, transport, housing, social care, the first service along with rubbish and recycling collections.

While voters will be reflecting on local issues when they cast their ballots, the local elections are also expected to be a verdict on how the pandemic has been managed by the government.

Councils in Southend, Tendring, Colchester and South Cambridgeshire have been positing pictures of their election counts on Twitter

Local council elections usually take place in May every year but the coronavirus pandemic has led to voting being suspended for more than a year. The elections scheduled for local councils in May 2020 are being held a year late.

Similarly Police and Crime Commissioners have stayed in post an extra year as those elections were also postponed.

The local elections has additional Covid measures in place with staff and voters in polling stations wearing face coverings, using hand sanitizer and maintaining social distance. Voters were even being asked to bring their own pen or pencil to mark ballot papers.

There were many more postal votes than usual.

The table shows the political composition of the councils after Election 2021

The councils which are "Hung" are where no one party has an overall majority to out-vote all the other parties but the councils are often run by a minority administration or with formal or informal coalitions

In most areas, voters were faced with multiple ballots papers for different elections.

Depending on where you live, there were the following elections:

  • County council

  • District, city or borough council

  • Council by-elections

  • Mayor for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough

  • Police & Crime Commissioners

  • Town & Parish councils

  • Local planning referendums

In the Anglia region there were more than 3,300 candidates standing for nearly 1,000 elected positions.

Local elections generally happen on a four-year cycle so the elections scheduled this year were last fought in 2017 and those postponed for a year were last contested in 2016.

You can find out more about the local elections results in your part of the Anglia region by clicking the buttons below

Bedfordshire | Cambridgeshire | Essex | Hertfordshire | Milton Keynes | Norfolk | Northamptonshire | Suffolk

When we can expect to find out the results

With the large number of different elections and ballot papers, a higher proportion of postal votes and Covid social distancing measures in place at counting venues, the results will take several days to determine.

Normally a team of counters get to work sorting and sifting the ballot papers as soon as polling stations close at 10pm on polling day. The results are then declared during the early hours of Friday morning. Things are very different during a pandemic - only a few councils are counting votes overnight.

Thursday night

There will be results in a few places in Essex like Colchester, Brentwood, Harlow and Southend where a third of the local district councillors are up for elections. Some of these areas will also give early indications of how people have voted in the wider Essex County Council election.

Polling stations will be Covid-secure with social distancing, hand sanitizer and face coverings. Credit: ITV News Anglia


The results of the County Council elections are expected in Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk along with two new unitary councils in North and West Northamptonshire.

There are all-out elections on Cambridge City Council and a third of the councillors are being elected in places like Basildon, Norwich and Peterborough.

The first of the newly-elected Police & Crime Commissioners in the region will be declared in Bedfordshire - one of the few places with only a single set of elections.


The only elected ‘metro mayor’ in the Anglia region - in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough - will be declared on Saturday.

The county’s Police & Crime Commissioner election result will also be announced along with those in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk.

There will be counts for Hertfordshire County Council along with the few districts in Hertfordshire with elections like Stevenage and Welwyn Hatfield. A third of the councillors on the unitary council in Milton Keynes will also find out their electoral fate.


Mostly a day of rest but there will be results declared in North Hertfordshire and St Albans - both closely-fought contests.


Probably the first day we will get an overall picture of how the region voted and find out the political fallout from the rest of the country with national elections in Scotland and Wales along with London mayor, other metro mayors and the Hartlepool by-election.

In the Anglia region the votes for Police & Crime Commissioners in Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire and Thames Valley are being counted.

Click the buttons below for more information on the elections in your area