An opinion poll this morning puts Labour 13% ahead of the Conservatives. An analysis (£) for the Local Government Chronicle by Rallings and Thrasher shows that sort of advances Labour would make on May 3rd if the results reflected them being 4% or 5% ahead of the Conservatives in national share of the vote. Of course local variations apply – if they didn't Ken Livingstone would be heading for a landslide win in London.
On those projections Labour would make 700 gains rather than the 500 that have been talked about.
The following councils would switch from NOC to Lab:
Birmingham; Bradford; Walsall MBC; Derby; North East Lincolnshire Council; Reading BC; Thurrock BC; Nuneaton and Bedworth BC; Cannock Chase DC; Carlisle; Exeter City Council; Norwich; Rossendale; Bridgend CBC; Newport City Council.
The following would switch direct from Con to Lab:
While in the following the Conservatives would lose to NOC:
Southampton City Council; Redditch BC; Vale of Glamorgan Council
It also mentions Labour gaining Stockport, Cardiff and Cambridge from the Lib Dems.
Not mentioned but also among councils that Labour should be expecting to win are Burnley, Wirral, Walsall, Great Yarmouth, Lincoln and Swansea.
So if Labour is ahead by 5% they would expect to gain power in another two dozen town halls. Really substantial gains. Of course a poll lead of 13% would imply them doing much better still.
My own hunch is that they will do less well than their poll lead would indicate as was the case last year. That is even before the prospect of bad results for Labour in Scotland are taken into the equation.