What is this election about?
On 6th May 2021 you will be voting to elect councillors for Exeter City Council (the ward you live in) and Devon County Council (the division you live in, which is roughly double the size of you ward). This is unusual. In the normal way, 2021 would be just a County Council election year - held every four years. However, the Exeter City Council elections are postponed from 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.
Neither election is about changing the national government, or about changing your local MP - these are local elections about local matters in Exeter and Devon.
Your vote on May 6th is important. Decisions made by Exeter City Council and Devon County Council have a direct impact on our day to day lives.
Exeter City Council is responsible for things such as planning and development, housing, waste collection and recycling, air quality, green spaces and leisure centres.
Devon County Council is responsible for things like strategic planning, roads and transport - including cycle routes - children and youth services, social care, public health, trading standards and libraries.
Currently, Exeter City Council is heavily dominated by Labour, who control the council. They currently hold 27 seats, with the Conservatives holding six, the Liberal Democrats two, and the Green Party one. There are also two independent councillors. Our Green councillor, Diana Moore, together with the Liberal Democrats and one independent councillor, make up the Progressive Group.
Will my vote make a difference?
It is certainly the case that the number of councillors each Party has on both Councils is not a fair reflection of the vote. For example, in the last Exeter City Council elections held in 2019, Labour won nine of the 14 seats with just over a third of the vote. Meanwhile, councillors in the Progressive Group won three seats on just under a third of the vote.
However, despite our unfair and unrepresenatative electoral system, Greens do win in Exeter. In 2019, Diana Moore won in St David's ward with 55% of the vote, achieving the largest majority of any ward in the city that year. Also, the Progressive Group only need to win another three seats to become the offical opposition to Labour on the City Council.