Exploring the historical context, the structure and method of operation, Local Elections in Britain clearly addresses the key issues and confusions that surround the local election system including:
    * the nature and extent of electoral participation including the crucial issue of low turnout
    * the candidates, and the growing proportion of women challenging for council seats
    * the performance of political parties, now a central feature of local elections
    * the dangers of viewing local elections as national opinion polls
    Drawing on the results of more than 100,000 local elections dating back over three decades the book is the most comprehensive study of local elections in Britain.

    Acknowledgements; 1. Local Elections - A Case of Mystery, Intrigue and Neglect; 2. The evolution of Local Democracy; 3. The Local Electoral System; 4. Turnout in Local Elections; 5. Contestation, Candidates and Incumbency; 6. Party Competition in Local Elections; 7. Votes, Seats and Local Electoral Outcomes; 8. Major Parties and Local Elections; 9. Minor Parites and Local Elections; 10. Local Elections and National Politics; 11. Local By-elections - Parochial Contests or National Electoral Indicators; 12. Local Elections and Representations; 13. Conclusions; Bibliography


    Colin Rallings is a Reader in Electoral Politics., Michael Thrasher is a Reader in Public Policy. Both are at the Local Government Chronicle Elections Centre, University of Plymouth.

    'A genuinely path-breaking book - the first ever comprehensive book-length study of local elections in Britain ... The book is certainly a 'must read' for all with a serious interest in British Elections' - David Denver, PSA (EPOP) Newsletter

    'Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher over the years have made a major contribution to the study of local government ... This is the first comprehensive work on local elections in Britain.' - John Stewart, Local Government Studies